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National Indigenous body essential, committee hears

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 20 July 2004


A Senate select committee has heard that it is essential that a democratically-elected national body be set up to represent Indigenous people.

The point was raised at a public hearing on the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in Alice Springs.

Northern Territory central zone commissioner Allison Anderson told the hearing that the organisation should be made up of representatives from around the country and not necessarily based on state borders.

Ms Anderson said the Federal Government was continuing to strip the assets of ATSIC commissioners, making representation difficult.

Commissioner Anderson added that the transfer of funding and services from ATSIC to Government agencies has not been smooth.

She said bureaucrats are taking money from some organisations around Alice Springs and cited one cut of $100,000.

The committee asked Ms Anderson to provide further details of those cuts after today's hearing.


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