Senate debates

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Questions without Notice

Indigenous Communities

2:09 pm

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

First of all, it is a question that needs to be directed to the Western Australian government. So, no, I do not have any knowledge of that—more than I would normally read in the newspaper. Perhaps from history you may recall, being a Western Australian, Senator Sterle, that I think it was Swan Valley in 2003, Oombulgurri in 2011, Coonan in 2013 and Buttah Windee in 2013 that were closed by the Western Australian government. I can assure the senator of one thing: all of those things happened before I even started negotiations with the Western Australian government for taking responsibility for the municipal services contract. Why would it be the case otherwise? Why is it that the Western Australian government should, perhaps, have any sort of reason that Aboriginal people's rubbish would somehow be harder to deal with than white people's rubbish? I have to say, Mr President, I have always found that, at best, somewhat odd. Any connection, of course, between the closures of those communities and discussions of the Western Australian government about their intent has nothing to do with this government.


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