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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3291

Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - Shocking, is it not?

Senator Rae - It is awful.

Senator Bonner - It is.

Senator CAVANAGH - All right; I am agreeing with the honourable senator. Senator Rae says that on his interpretation it is awful. Senator Bonner agrees with him. That section should not be in the Northern Territory Ordinance- if they are right. I agree, it should never be. But leave it in Queensland law. We tried to take it out of Queensland law.

Senator Bonner - The Aborigines, not the white men, should have the right to say it. The Aborigines should have the right to say it, but under your regulations it is the white man that has the right.

Senator CAVANAGH -Have you finished?

Senator Bonner - Yes.

Senator CAVANAGH - Just listen and you might find some grains of sense that will enter even your thick skull.

Senator Bonner - That will be something, coming from you.

Senator CAVANAGH -Just listen a while. Firstly, you agree that it is wrong but you say that we will maintain it in Queensland. Secondly, it is a wrong interpretation. Under the clause that I read out, prima facie certain people have a right. Among those people who have a right is a native of Australia, an Aboriginal. He does not have to get a permit, he walks on. He has got a right to enter a reserve and no one stops him. But if because of his conduct an officer decides that he should not be there then the officer issues the order to remove him. This is the white officer, the one who has the responsibility for the upkeep of the reserve. He has the right to issue the order. It is not a discriminatory action. It is not something that can apply to an Aboriginal and not to a white man. It can apply to anyone, and it is subject to judicial review. It is not final. All we are asking for in this Bill is that there be a right of judicial review of all these things. We want to extend to the Queensland Aborigines provisions similar to those applying in the Northern Territory. We have decided on the issues now, but if you are prepared to reconsider the Bill and will put in -

Senator Rae - Mr Minister,this has not excused your misleading the Senate a short time ago. It has not excused it in any way at all.

Senator CAVANAGH - I have not misled the Senate at all. If you are prepared to reconsider the clauses and put in similar provisions to those in the Queensland Act we are prepared to accept them. There is nothing there that is detrimental to the Aborigines. The misleading of the Senate was in reading out the clause.

Senator Rae - Without reading some of the others.

Senator CAVANAGH - As happened in the regulations.

Remainder of Bill agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.

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