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ATSIC board behind Clark

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 5 December 2003


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission has called on the Prime Minister reinstate suspended chairman Geoff Clark.

Mr Clark arrived at ATSIC's Canberra headquarters this afternoon a day after he was convicted of obstructing police during a pub brawl.

Mr Clark wants his job back and after meeting with him, the ATSIC board was pleased to back that move.

It has called on Prime Minister John Howard to intervene and reinstate Mr Clark.

Acting ATSIC chairman Lionel Quartermaine says it is time to move on.

"We're asking the Prime Minister to reinstate him because it's come to the level where Indigenous affairs is at the risk," Mr Quartermaine said.

"We've got national and international issues that need to be dealt with."

Board member Ray Robinson says the support was unanimous.

"This charge is too trivial to sack any elected official anywhere in this country, black or white," he said.

Mr Clark says the call is a sign of Indigenous unity.

"Whatever it takes to fight the system, we're going to be standing together and we're going to be fighting that system."

The Federal Government is still considering Mr Clark's future.


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