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Crossin calls for National Indigenous Plan monitored by permanent Parliamentary committee.



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Take ten steps for the Territory, Ni

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Crossin Calls for National Indigenous Plan monitored by permanent Parliamentary c

ommittee

Issued: 21 June 2006

Senator Trish Crossin has called today in the Senate for a broad ranging national Indigenous plan and benchmarking to be monitored by a bipartisan joint standing committee of the Federal Parliament.

“The debate about indigenous affairs over the last month just reiterates that what we are doing as a nation in indigenous affairs is either not working or not enough to improve people’s lives” Senator Crossin said.

“Since the abolition of ATSIC with all its faults there has been no forum to monitor and hold governments accountable for their actions in Indigenous affairs let alone to develop a vision of where we should be in 20 years.

“I believe the government should follow the lead of the NT Government and set goals for the future nationally in Indigenous affairs.

“To compliment and monitor this I am calling for the formation of a permanent bipartisan committee of members, drawn from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, with an interest in Indigenous affairs.

“I would expect the four federal representatives from the Northern Territory to be on the committee in recognition of the indigenous people we represent.

“We would play an important role in ensuring Governments strive to achieve their goals and their rhetoric, especially at budget time, matches the program delivery on the ground and the promised outcomes.

“At present parliamentary oversight of the government’s Indigenous affairs policy’s is done in a fairly ad hoc way but this committee could ensure rigorous accountability” Senator Crossin said.