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Thursday, 10 October 1996
Page: 3985

(Question No. 90)

Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, upon notice, on 29 May 1996:

(1) Has the Hope Vale Aboriginal Council agreed to construct a house for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (ATSIC) Commissioner Gerhardt Pearson.

(2) Can the source of funding for that house be identified and can the Senate be informed whether the house is to be paid for out of Aboriginal Welfare funds; if so, how can the Commissioner qualify for such funding given his salary as an ATSIC Commissioner.

Senator Herron —The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission has provided the following information in response to the honourable senator's question.

(1) The Hope Vale Aboriginal Council is at present constructing a number of houses for community residents. The Council proposes to allocate one of them to Commissioner Pearson as a tenant.

(2) ATSIC funds are not being used for the construction of these houses. Their construction is funded through the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement, with funds allocated by the Queensland Government. As a resident of Hope Vale, Commissioner Pearson is entitled to tenancy of a Council-owned house irrespective of his salary.