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ATSIC puts up rival reform plan

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 8 December 2003


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) board has put forward its own proposals for reform, following the release of the Federal Government's review of the commission's structure.

The board says some of the changes proposed by the Government are unworkable and would dramatically reduce Indigenous representation at the national level.

ATSIC has suggested changes that would see directly elected regional representatives who would in turn elect the chair.

Under the current system, the chair is elected by 17 zone commissioners.

ATSIC acting chairman Lionel Quartermain says it is time both sides stopped apportioning blame and fixed the problems within the organisation.

"The status quo ... is not working. It's not only within ATSIC, [but also] within the state and federal governments for Indigenous people it's not working," he said.

"So unless we start working together and moving together, we will be talking about the same thing in 40 years time."

Mr Quartermain says the changes would bring ATSIC in line with political parties.

"The structure that we put up is in line with how the Labor Party elects theirs and very much along the lines of the coalition," he said.

"What we've got to try and do is have some consistency here."


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