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Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3224


Senator HERRON (Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs)(10.49 a.m.) —No, that assumption would not be correct because there was a review conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission. Considerable consultation occurred throughout the whole of the community in that regard and the report was presented to ATSIC with the recommendations that were in this bill. It is not as if it was suddenly foisted upon them.

There has been considerable debate, discussion and reportage to the board of commissioners in relation to the reduction in number of councillors. It is not something that suddenly came up overnight. It has been in train for 18 months. It is not something that has not been available or debated in the community since that time. It was introduced by the previous government, in fact.