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gross mismanagement demans investigation by Federal Govt

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Evidence of gross mismanagement of more than $1 million of

Aboriginal funds has led to a call for an inquiry into the

administration of the Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Commission's Tennant Creek office.

Northern Territory Senator Grant Tambling told the Senate last night that the Federal Government needed to reveal the extent of alleged misappropriation in the Barkly region as well as the

effect on services to thousands of Aboriginal people.

"I call on the Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Mr Robert Tickner, to urgently investigate the operations of ATSIC's Tennant Creek office. He needs to release the reports into Jurnkurakurr

Outstation Resource Centre and provide a detailed explanation as to the problems of Anyinginyi Congress."

Senator Tambling said he wao particularly oonoornod about a Pannell Kerr Forster review of jurnkurakurr which, according to Labor Senator Bob McMullan last night, confirmed "evidence of gross mismanagement and deliberate breaches of grant conditions."

"I want to know whether there is a link between the Anyinginyi

Congress inquiry in Tennant Creek and the alleged

misappropriation of more than $1 million with regard to the

Jurnkurakurr Outstation Resource Centre," Senator Tambling said.

"I am equally concerned about the administration of two other programs, grant funds for municipal and local government

functions at Elliott and Borroloola, and Community Development Employment Programs in three Barkly communities; Alpurrurulam (Lake Nash), Mungoorbada (Robertson River) and Waanyi Garawa (Nicholson R i v e r ) .

"Anyinginyi Congress‘was established to provide essential health care for Aboriginal people. A month ago, I brought to light

problems w ith Anyinginyi yet there have been inexcusable delays in investigating this organisation's health agency effectiveness and financial competence.

"The Jurnkurakurr Outstation Resource Centre was established to provide infrastructure and community services for thousands of Aboriginal people in a remote and isolated area.



“Such allegations, surrounding organisations with budget

commitments of more than $4 million a year, mean that Aboriginal people could be missing out on the benefits of funds appropriated through Federal Parliament."

ENDS Contact: Senator Grant Tambling 06-2773436 Tiz Zeroni 06-2773436