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Wednesday, 10 October 1984
Page: 1606

(Question No. 1097)

Senator Peter Rae asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 24 August 1984 the following question which was transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs:

(1) What is the state of the Harkins inquiry into legal aid.

(2) When is it anticipated that the report will be completed.

(3) Will the report be made public.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Mr Harkins has completed extensive visits to all States and the Northern Territory but has still to have discussions with Aboriginal community representatives in the Yass and Queanbeyan areas which he expects to complete in the near future. He has received written submissions and other relevant material from some Aboriginal legal services which receive Federal Government assistance but is still waiting the receipt of submissions and material from others. Mr Harkins is also at present following up matters arising from his discussions and material he has received preparatory to drafting his final report.

Mr Harkins has already provided interim and special reports in regard to the activities of a number of services which have resulted in additional funds being provided to most of the services to improve their level of operation in line with priority recommendations made by Mr Harkins as identified by the individual services.

(2) Mr Harkins has indicated that he will complete his final report by the end of the 1984 calendar year.

(3) I intend to table the report.