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Democrats want ATSIC rethink

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 24 April 2004


The Australian Democrats are urging the Federal Government to reconsider its plan to scrap ATSIC.

The call follows concerns expressed by the national secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisations that Islanders will lose their only voice at a national level once the organisation disappears.

Democrats' leader Andrew Bartlett says ATSIC and ATSIS have been saddled with the blame for failings in Indigenous affairs, despite only controlling 15 per cent of Government funds allocated.

"People should realise that health services for example haven't been controlled by ATSIC for over five years," he said.

"The vast majority of money spent on Aboriginal people doesn't go through ATSIC and yet this Government wants ATSIC to take 100 per cent of the blame for its own failings."


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