Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Report seeks nationally elected body to replace ATSIC

A report expected to be tabled in Federal Parliament today is set to call for the establishment of a nationally elected Indigenous body in Australia.

The report is from a Senate inquiry into the future of Indigenous affairs and the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).

The nine-month inquiry held hearings across the country and received nearly 250 written submissions. There was an overwhelming desire for an elected body rather than just a government appointed council. While most ATSIC operations have been transferred to mainstream agencies, the Government is retaining ASTIC councils until July.

It is believed the report recommends the life of those councils be extended by six months.

It is also understood the report suggests that art work held by ATSIC should be retained by Indigenous interests.

By Sorry 8 March 05

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1. ATSIC abolition: the story so far. The last few months have seen both major parties buying into Indigenous Affairs in destructive and politically opportunistic ways. First the ALP and then the Government announced they would abolish ATSIC, but now the decision has been referred to a Senate Committee so the full implications of the Government's proposal can be examined. For more information on the Senate Inquiry into Indigenous Administration call 02 6277 3419 or go to:

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