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Aboriginals' payments may be linked to behaviour

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 11 November 2004

The Federal Government says it is still considering a radical plan to rebuild the Aboriginal welfare system, which could make financial assistance dependent on behavioural change.

The Government is considering taking a more hardline approach to welfare payments for Indigenous Australians, linking them to modified behaviour.

It could include payments being dependent on parents ensuring their children are attending school.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone wants to ensure the concept of mutual obligation, where a recipient of a welfare payment has to do something in return, is working within Indigenous communities.

But Prime Minister John Howard says there is no time line for change.

"We don't have any particular timetable for that, we believe very strongly that the new approach to Aboriginal affairs is the right approach," he said.

There is also a proposal for a electronic card designed to limit what Indigenous Australians can buy with Government welfare payments.

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