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ATSIC axing legislation goes before Parliament

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


Legislation abolishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) has been introduced to Federal Parliament, with the Government promising to maintain all existing Indigenous programs and current funding levels.

Under the changes, mainstream government departments will take over responsibility for delivering services to Aborigines, with the help of a network of Indigenous coordination centres in rural and remote areas.

A national Indigenous council will also be set up to advise the Government.

Government Minister Gary Hardgrave told Parliament the changes will mean improved services for Indigenous people.

"I note that there is a general acknowledgement on both sides that the change is necessary," he said.

"I think we all realise and recognise that the crisis in ATSIC is now so serious that it can not continue.

"The real losers are the very people that ATSIC was established to assist, the first nation people of Australia."


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