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Inquiry asks for ATSIC axe to be put on hold

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


The head of the Senate inquiry into the Bill relating to the dismantling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) says any further winding back of the indigenous body should be put on hold until after the committee submits its report.

The eight-member committee will hold a number of forums around the country before submitting a final report at the end of October.

The Northern Territory's Labor Senator Trish Crossin says the Federal Government is still proceeding to abolish the ATSIC and its executive arm the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services' (ATSIS) even though Parliament has not passed the Bill.

"This Senate committee has been specifically asked to inquire into and report on the provisions in that ATSIC Bill, so things should be on hold," he said.

"But we know that that's not the way the Government's currently proceeding, but things ought to be on hold while the committee looks at the provisions of the Bill and what should happen with governing indigenous affairs in the future."


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