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Vanstone says ATSIC scrapping won't affect jobs

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 16 April 2004


The Federal Government says it does not expect any jobs will be lost when it abolishes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).

Federal Member for the Northern Territory seat of Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, says the Government's plan raises questions over the future of 1,200 people employed by ATSIC and its executive body ATSIS, including 150 jobs in the Territory.

ATSICs Northern Zone commissioner Akarriyuwu Hill says the federal Indigenous Affairs Minister has not outlined the plans to ATSIC staff.

"At the moment my understanding is that they got no idea what so ever regarding their future," Mr Hill said.

A spokesman for Senator Amanda Vanstone says projects and functions performed by ATSIC, such as health and housing, will be transferred to various federal departments.

The spokesman says the Government's move is not a cost-saving exercise and funding will not be reduced.

ATSIC's demise is likely to be a key issue when Senator Vanstone meets with the Indigenous group the Northern Land Council in Darwin on Monday.


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