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Govt running a misinformation campaign



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hadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

nt is running a misinformation campaign over its

Chris M I L E S

funding of Aboriginal groups for consultations on an Aboriginal

Treaty," Chris Miles, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs said today.

has frozen National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisation (NCAO) funds (because it is running scared over the Federal Opposition allegations of mismanagement) show that the $500,000 Federal Government grant purportedly given to Tranby College in Sydney was in reality a grant to the NCAO.

Mr Foley is a member of the Executive of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations.

"The NCAO is not an incorporated body and the use of Tranby as a conduit is a clear by-passing of proper financial procedures and an indication of the Government's contempt for the principles of financial accountablility.

"When the Federal Opposition repeatedly questioned the legality of the grant to Tranby and its links to the NCAO the Government

went to extraordinary lengths in Parliament to argue the legality of the grant;* to assert the appropriateness of Tranby to undertake the consultations and to maintain the facade that the grant was to*Tranby.

"This exercise in misinformation shows that the Government does

not accept that the Australian taxpayer has the right to know how the $808 million dollars allocated by the Commonwealth in Aboriginal Affairs is spent."

Mr Miles said that the Government should ensure that the grant is

fully acquitted within normal grant procedures.

"Mr Foley is reported as having said that the 'real substance' of

Mr Miles said that claims by Mr Garry Foley that the Government

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the meetings, which were funded as treaty consultations, was discussions over the ATSIC proposal of the Government."

"Clearly, there needs to be an examination of the purposes to which the money was put to ensure that the grants were applied to the purposes for which they were given. If they were misapplied then the return of the funds should be required.

"There are a number of unusual aspects of the grant. For example, the first meeting funded under the grant took place the day after the ADC decided to make the grant to an appropriate body. The Government should provide a full and open explanation of the grant.

"On December 21st, 1988, I put a question on notice to the Minister which explored the operation of the grant to Tranby College and the College's relationship to the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations [copy attached]. I call on the Government to provide a response to this question as a matter of priority.

"Over the next day or so the Coalition will be looking at the parliamentary record to explore whether the Government's misinformation campaign over the grant lead to the misleading of the Parliament."

CONTACT: Stephen Wade (062) 77 4115

Wednesday, January 11th, 1988 AA/89/5

Mr Miles Minister for

Aboriginal Affairs

(1) At which meeting of the Aboriginal Development Commission was it proposed that treaty- consultations be undertaken by the Aboriginal Development Commission?

(2) At which meeting of the Aboriginal Development Commission was it proposed that treaty consultations be organised by a body other than the Aboriginal Development Commission?

(3) At what date and by whom was Tranby College identified as the appropriate body to undertake treaty consultations?

(4) At which meeting of the Aboriginal Development Commission was it decided or confirmed that Tranby College would organise treaty consultations?

(5) What is the consultation strategy envisaged by Tranby College, including a summary of how the grant is envisaged to be expended?

(6) Who are the Directors and Executive staff of Tranby College?

(7) ...Who are the staff involved in the treaty ' consultations?

(8) -What monies have been paid out to Tranby College or other bodies for treaty consultations?

On what date and for what purpose were these monies paid out?

(9) What is the estimate of the costs of administration for treaty consultations, by the Aboriginal Development Commission and by other organisations?

(10) What is the role of the Sub-Committee of the Aboriginal Development Commission Board in supervising treaty consultations?

(11) In relation to each treaty consultation meeting which has been held by Tranby College or any other body utilising funds from the Aboriginal Development Commission allocation, what was the:

(a) Date (b) Location (c ) Venue (d) Time (e) List of invitees (f ) Pre-publicity given (g) Access of the meeting to the public, to the

media or to all Aborigines and Islanders (h) List of participants (i) Costs of venue (j) Costs of participants (k) Mode and class of travel of participants (l) Costs of organisation (m) Records of meeting maintained (n) Resolutions of the meetings

(12) In relation to each treaty consultation meeting planned by Tranby College or any other body utilising funds from the Aboriginal Development Commission allocation, what is the anticipated:

(a) Date (b) Location (c) Venue

(d) Time (e) List of invitees (f) Pre-publicity plan -(g) Access of the meeting to the public, to

media or to all Aborigines and Islanders _-Π h ) Costs of venue ~.(i> Costs of participants (j) Mode and class of travel of participants

(k) Costs of organisation

(13) I refer to comments by Mr. Kevin Tory at a seminar at Sydney University on November 28th, 1988, at which he stated that he is one of three Aboriginal men organising the treaty consultations.

What involvement do these three men and Mr. Tory, in particular, have in the treaty consultations and how did he come to be involved?

Who are the other two Aboriginal men that Mr. Tory was referring to?

(14) What is the anticipated timeframe for the completion of the treaty consultations and the formalisation of a treaty?

(15) Which of the members of the Aboriginal Development Commission Sub-Committee supervising treaty consultations, the Tranby College Directors, the Tranby College staff involved in treaty consultations, and the three Aboriginal men referred to by Mr Tory are members of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations?