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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2087..

Answers to questions

Aboriginal tent embassy

(Question No 140)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Community Affairs, upon notice, on 4 April 2002:

In relation to the 1995 registration on the National Estate of the Aboriginal tent "embassy" in front of Old Parliament House:

(1) What was the wording of this registration and could a copy of the document be made available to interested parties, including myself.

(2) Were any terms or conditions placed upon this registration and if so, what were the details.

(3) Do the occupants of this tent site pay rent or rates; if so, how much and if not, why not.

(4) What are the details of services supplied to the site, (including and additional to electricity, water, toilet facilities etc) and who pays for them.

(5) What have been the per annum costs for provision of these services for each year since the registration of the tent "embassy" and who has paid each of these yearly costs.

(6) If no rent or rates are paid by the occupants or organisers of the tent "embassy", why are these services supplied.

(7) If no rent or rates are paid by the occupants or organisers, are the occupants of the "embassy" classified as squatters and if so, can they be evicted; if not, what right by law do they have to remain there.

(8) In general, does registration on the National Estate absolve people or organisations from paying rents or rates at properties occupied and if not, what action is taken against such people or organisations who default.

(9) Why has action at (7) not been taken against occupants of the tent "embassy" above.

(10) Of the people camping in front of Old Parliament House, how many are Ngun(n)awal people and what involvement do the Ngun(n)awal elders have in the organisation and support of the "embassy".

(11) If no rent or rates are paid by the occupants of the tents currently pitched on the grassed areas opposite Old Parliament House and no action has been taken to move them, can I be assured that non Aboriginal campers would also be allowed to live or holiday at the same free camping ground.

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