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Politicians debate the effect of mining

Paul Hasluck, Minister for Territories, argued in the federal Parliament that the development would be for the good of the people living at Yirrkala.

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Statement in the House of Representatives on Yirrkala by Paul Hasluck, April 1963

'Yirrkala', Barry Christophers Papers, 1951-1981, MS 7992/8, box 16, National Library of Australia

More info on Statement in the House of Representatives on Yirrkala by Paul Hasluck, April 1963

By contrast, Kim Beazley senior, Member for Fremantle, presented a case for the creation of an Aboriginal land title. This was the first time that the concept of an Aboriginal title to land had been raised in the Parliament. Beazley argued that the proclamation of large reserves for Aboriginal use meant nothing if 'systematically, when anything of any value is discovered in them, areas become excised from the Aboriginal reserves'.

Member for Fremantle Kim Beazley Snr raised land rights issues in Parliament in May 1973

Parliamentary speech on land rights, 1963

Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), House of Representatives, 23 May 1963, pp. 1795-97

Download Parliamentary speech on land rights, 1963 [PDF 887kb]

This speech became more widely publicised when reproduced in On Aboriginal Affairs, a periodical widely circulated by a small group in Melbourne called 'Aboriginal Affairs', committed to providing information and viewpoints concerning Aboriginal Australians.

Further resources

Paul Hasluck



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