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Indigenous communities to be consulted on delivery of services in western Victoria.



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Indigenous communities to be consulted on delivery of services in western Victoria

28/10/2003

ATSIC’s Tumbukka Regional Council will hold meetings in Warrnambool next Monday (3 November) and Swan Hill next Wednesday (5 November) to consult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in western Victoria about the delivery of government services in the region.

The 13-member Council, which represents the western half of Victoria including Melbourne’s west, will use outcomes of the meetings to develop its Regional Plan for 2003-05.

Council Chairperson Tim Chatfield said the meeting would discuss ways in which ATSIC could become more effective at the regional level and work more closely with other government agencies to improve policies and programs for Indigenous people.

“I’d like to see the regional plan become a blueprint not just for ATSIC’s activities in the region, but also cover Indigenous funding and services of all government agencies and peak bodies,” Mr Chatfield said.

“Ideally, the regional plan will be inclusive of State and local government activities, because they have major funding responsibilities for the delivery of important services to our people.

Mr Chatfield said consultation with Indigenous people and agencies in the Council’s planning process would help to identify priorities in the region and lead to a more co-ordinated approach to service delivery by all levels of government.

“The regional plan is going to be a key document for the next three years and I would urge all our people in the region to come along and have their say and give us their ideas about how to do things better,” Mr Chatfield said.

The Warrnambool meeting is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in western Victoria, including Framlingham, Portland, Halls Gap, Ballarat, Geelong, Heywood, Horsham and Hamilton.

The meeting will be held in the Green Room, Warrnambool Performing Arts Centre, Liebig St, commencing at 8:30 am.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

The Swan Hill meeting is open to Indigenous residents in north-western Victoria, including Mildura, Robinvale, Kerang, Bendigo and Echuca.

It will be held at the Sundowner Motel, 405 Campbell Street, commencing at 8:30 am.

Morning/afternoon tea and lunch will be provided at both the Warrnambool and Swan Hill meetings.

For more information: Giuseppe Stramandinoli (ATSIS Victoria Public Affairs) on 0419 508 125 Peter Blackman (ATSIS Melbourne Regional Office) 03 - 9285 7254

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

ATSIC Regional Councils in Victoria

Tumbukka Regional Council has 13 elected Indigenous members and covers western Victoria, including major centres such as Geelong, Warrnambool, Portland, Horsham, Mildura, Echuca, Swan Hill, Halls Gap, Bendigo and Ballarat.

Tumbukka also represents the western half of Melbourne’s metropolitan area, including the suburbs of Thornbury, Preston, Thomastown, Broadmeadows, Footscray, Werribee and Sunbury.

The 12-member Binjirru Regional Council represents the eastern part of Victoria and includes major regional centres such as Shepparton, Wodonga, Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Sale and Morwell.

Binjirru also represents the eastern half of the Melbourne metropolitan area, including Healesville, Ringwood, Dandenong, Berwick, St Kilda, Frankston, South Melbourne, as well as the Mornington Peninsula.

Separation of powers Under the so-called separation of powers implemented by former Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, ATSIC’s elected arm no longer makes specific funding decisions.

A new agency - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS) - commenced operations on 1 July 2003 and has responsibility for administering ATSIC programs. ATSIS is staffed by approximately 1300 Commonwealth public servants who have transferred from ATSIC’s administrative arm.

Under the new arrangement, the national ATSIC Board of Commissioners and the 35 Regional Councils across Australia will continue to set policies and strategic priorities, build on the regional planning process and monitor the work of other agencies delivering services to Indigenous people.