The Aborigines Act 1897 amended the Aborigines Protection Act 1886 as amended by the Aborigines Act 1889. The major change was the abolition of the Aborigines Protection Board, which was replaced by the Aborigines Department on 1 April 1898. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies' To Remove and Protect website gives some history about this Act:
'The Aborigines Act 1897, abolished the Aborigines Protection Board and the powers and duties of existing protectors of Aborigines. The Act created the WA Aborigines Department with similar duties to the former Board as well as to provide for the custody, maintenance and education of the children of Aborigines. The Department was given an annual budget of five thousand pounds sterling instead of one percent of the annual government revenue as specified in the 1889 WA Constitution. (One percent was a much larger amount after the discovery of gold boosted government revenue. As this provision was inconsistent with the WA Constitution, an Act of the British Parliament, the Act was actually invalid. The invalidity was realised in 1904 and retrospectively validated in the Aborigines Act 1905.) The Aborigines Act 1897 was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1905.'
10 October 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00405
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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