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ATSIC review must produce results.

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Senator Aden Ridgeway Australian Democrats’ Senator for NSW Indigenous Affairs Spokesperson 12 November 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/530

ATSIC Review Must Produce Results

The Australian Democrats today welcomed the announcement of the panel to review the role and functions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Indigenous Affairs spokesperson, Senator Aden Ridgeway, said the review would be an important step in the future of ATSIC and it should be used to clarify and strengthen the organisation.

“I want to see this review critically and thoroughly examine the role and functions of ATSIC, so Indigenous Australians will have confidence in their peak national body being able to deliver the best possible outcomes,” said Senator Ridgeway.

“However it must not be used as another excuse to bash ATSIC.

“Both the panel and those making submissions must keep in mind that, at the end of this review, we will still need a strong and effective national voice for our people,” said Senator Ridgeway.

Senator Ridgeway said the experience and histories of the three panel members, Jackie Huggins, John Hannaford and Bob Collins represented a genuine attempt at bipartisan, gender and Indigenous representation on the review panel.

Contact: Liz Willis 0417 410 506