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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 4467

Mr Hunt asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice:

In establishing a departmental committee to review and screen all applications for loans, advances and grants for Aboriginal enterprises, did the Government include officials from the Department of Treasury and the Auditor-General's Office to help the committee in its task; if not, why not.

Mr Bryant - The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

There are two committees established to screen applications for financial assistance to Aboriginals and Aboriginal communities. The first was established by the honourable W. C. Wentworth as MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs in 1969. It provides the Minister with advice on applications for assistance from the Capital Fund for Aboriginal Enterprises. The Advisory Committee consists of Dr H. C. Coombs (committee chairman), Mr R. S. Elliott (General Manager, Commonwealth Development Bank of Australia) and Mr J. H. Garrett (Deputy Secretary, Department of Treasury). The establishment of the second committee, the Grants Review Committee was announced by me on 7 November 1973. It provides me with advice on disbursement of grants for Aboriginal community purposes from the Aboriginal Advancement Trust Account. It is an internal departmental committee and, as such, it would not be appropriate for Treasury to be represented on it. As the function of the Auditor-General's Office in this instance is one of review and examination of expenditure, it would not be appropriate for that office to be represented on either of the above committees.

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