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Wednesday, 1 June 1994
Page: 1079

Senator GARETH EVANS —Earlier in question time Senator Chamarette asked me a question about the consultations associated with the proposed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land fund. In the time available since she asked that question I have been able to get the following response from the Prime Minister's office.

  First of all, the government has been undertaking wide ranging consultations with the Aboriginal community on the land fund. So far, the consultations have involved the same groups as were involved in the Mabo consultation and, of course, ATSIC. Secondly, the government is currently arranging another round of consultations which will be very wide ranging and which will extend beyond that. Thirdly, a draft bill will be developed in the light of those consultations, but no decision has yet been made on timing; nor has any decision yet been made on which precise organisation—the Office of Indigenous Affairs in PM&C or ATSIC or some new body—should have responsibility for the administration of the land fund. That decision is yet to be made, and it will partly be made in the light of those consultations.