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Govt presses Senate to pass ATSIC changes

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 27 May 2004


Programs delivering services to Indigenous Australians will be "mainstreamed", even if the Senate blocks a Bill to abolish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and its administrative wing, ATSIS.

The legislation was introduced to Parliament today and the Indigenous Affairs Minister, Amanda Vanstone, has told a Senate committee the Government wants it passed by the end of next month.

She has told the committee if that does not happen the shell of ATSIC will remain but other changes will go ahead.

"The sort of discredited arrangements in a sense stay in place, it's a sort of discredited structure, that's the Government's view," she said.

"I understand it's the view of the Opposition and I'm absolutely certain it's the view of a large number of people in the community and particularly the Indigenous community.

"Most of the arrangements we want to make are not dependent on the Bill, most of the ATSIS programs will be transferred to mainstream departments in any event."


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