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NSW Aboriginal Legal Service

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(Statement by Senator 3.L. Cavanagh, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs)

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Senator Cavanagh, said today that he. had made it clear at a meeting with the N.S.U.. Aboriginal Legal . Service that he considered that the public funds being- provided for the Service's operations should not be used for activities outside the field of legal aid. ■ ■ ; ■ . .

He had been informed of the stage reached in accounting for the previously unaccounted funds expended to 30 3une 1974; the unaccounted portion had nou been brought down from approximately $50,000 to $29,000 : and a further $21,000 worth of vouchers would, be presented to the Service's Auditors this week reducing the unaccounted amount to $8,000. .

. The Service complained of not having been informed of the .

condition laid down by the Minister regarding the two month's funding.approved . last August. This condition was that no further funding would be made unless all previous monies could be properly accounted for. , · . .

In view of this Senator Cavanagh agreed to the continued funding, of the Legal Aid Service until the end of December 1974,. specifying- an identical condition will, apply. .. * . ■ ;

The Minister also undertook to give a decision by the end of the week as to whether he would be prepared to provide additional funds to meet ioutstanding debts of $43,000 to 30 June 1974 in respect of barristers and . for services. . . . . . .. . .

The Minister said that he had agreed that a Departmental Officer should go to Sydney forthwith to discuss any outstanding matters with the " ' Service including their budget for the- balance- of- the financial .'year. 7 It v . was also agreed that there would be no extension of existing services and that

no additional officers would be appointed without approval of the Minister.

' . The delegation denied that the N.S.U. Legal Service was associated with any Canberra demonstration or threat of any nature. ·. ... .

Canberra, A.C.T. ■ 11 November 1974