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Govt plan to scrap ATSIC an act of revenge: Robinson

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 28 May 2004


Aboriginal leaders say the Howard Government's motivation for scrapping ATSIC has absolutely nothing to do with the body's performance and is more about revenge.

The legislation was introduced to Parliament yesterday and the Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone wants it passed by the end of next month.

Queensland ATSIC Commissioner Ray Robinson says it is barefaced retaliation, because a group of commissioners commenced a High Court action last month, challenging the Government's establishment of a related agency, ATSIS.

He says the Government cannot afford an embarrassing legal defeat just before the next Federal election, so it has decided to solve the problem by scrapping ATSIC.

"We're going to challenge this," Mr Robinson said.

"We call on the Opposition, we call on Mark Latham, we call on the Democrats, we call on the Greens and all independents here to have an inquiry into this bill, to block this bill in the Senate."


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