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Beazley wrong on aboriginal protest.

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Media Release


Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government





Comments made by the leader of the Opposition regarding the aboriginal protest in front of Parliament H ouse ignored the legal issues the ALP had advanced, and perpetuated the line that the law should not be applied equally to all Australians, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald said today.


Senator Macdonald who has responsibility for Planning and Land Management of National Lands in the ACT, said that the only people who had speculated on removal of the structures opposite old Parliament House had been the media, and Opposition frontbenchers.


“I gazetted land under an Ordinance that relates to the removal of illegal vehicles on Commonwealth land. I did this to remove an inconsistency created by the previous Labor Government.”


It was the previous Labor Government who had in fact commenced the process of gazetting land within the Parliamentary triangle. The site of the recent protest in the Federation Mall was gazetted by Brian Howe in January 1996. ( Howe’s Gazettal attached)


“Any actions taken by police at the request of the National Capital Authority (NCA) within the Federation Mall have been based on a law quite rightly gazetted by Labor.”


“Ironically, Daryl Melham was condoning an illegal protest and actively encouraging an illegal fire in breach of an ordinance that his own party had gazetted when they were in Government.”


Senator Macdonald said that the NCA were applying guidelines for protests consistent with the bi-partisan recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee for the National Capital and External Territories.


“As recently as yesterday the NCA gave the protesters the opportunity to apply for the necessary permits, but the forms and guidelines were snatched and put into the fire.”


“These are the same permits that farmers, loggers, woodchippers and any other legitimate protester have had to conform to when they use the same area,’ said Senator Macdonald.


“It is fundamental that laws are consistent and applied equally and fairly.”


M10/99 Tuesday, February 16, 1999


Media Contact:  David Moore 02 6277 7060/ 0417 774 724









I, BRIAN LESLIE HOWE, Minister of State for Housing and Regional Development, hereby SPECIFY that the landbridge named Federation Mall, excluding all roads and excluding land within the Parliamentary Precincts, as shown by the shaded area on the attached map, is unleased land for the purposes of subsection 8A(3) of the Trespass on Commonwealth Lands Ordinance 1932.



Dated this 17th. day of January 1996.





Minister of State for

Housing and Regiona l Development