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ATSIC welcomes new Indigenous minister

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 29 September 2003


New ATSIC chairman Lionel Quartermaine says he is not concerned by Amanda Vanstone taking over from Philip Ruddock as the Minister for Immigration and Indigenous Affairs.

There was little love lost between Mr Ruddock and former ATSIC chairman Geoff Clark but Mr Quartermaine says ATSIC will continue to move forward.

"No matter what minister is there, we've still got to have a good working relationship with that person," he said.

"The minister's got to develop and implement policies on behalf of the Federal Government and we've got to do the same for Indigenous people."

Meanwhile Mr Clark has welcomed the Prime Minister's decision to move Mr Ruddock.

"It's an interesting tactic by the Prime Minister that he's now trying to hide some of the bad boys in some of the broom closets and Ruddock's gone to a softer portfolio," he said.

"[Senator Vanstone is] very up front, straight down the line type of person and I would hope that the compassion she has for some of these issues can be put to good uses."


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