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ATSIC wants trust document released

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 4 February 2004


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is calling for the public release of a New South Wales Government document on tens of millions of dollars owed to Indigenous people in the state.

It is estimated up to $70 million was taken from pensions, child endowments, inheritances and apprentices wages between 1900 and 1969 and put into trust accounts.

The Community Services Department says a Cabinet submission that was withdrawn three years ago has now been completed, but is yet to be presented to the Government.

The ATSIC commissioner for the New South Wales metropolitan area, Cliff Foley, says the delays are unjustified.

"It certainly needs to be brought fully out into the public for a full parliamentary inquiry ... I think they've sat on it long enough," he said.

"I think...some of the justice and some of the issues that have faced Aboriginal people ... we need to look at finalising some of these matters and this is one matter ... that can be picked up well we'll be calling for its release, we'll certainly be getting a copy of it."


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