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Wednesday, 22 June 2005
Page: 86

Senator RIDGEWAY (3:23 PM) —I move:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that with the commencement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Amendment Act 2005 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) regional councils will cease operating after 30 June 2005;

(b)   commends all Indigenous people who have served on regional councils in the past 15 years especially those regional councillors who have worked through the past 12 months, with few resources and little support, managing the difficult transition to the new administrative arrangements in Indigenous affairs;

(c)   notes the government-commissioned ATSIC review report recommended that the 35 ATSIC regional councils be retained, and also recommended elevating the regional council chairs to a national representative body; and

(d)   calls on the Government to commit to working with Indigenous people to formulate truly representative structures to fully engage Indigenous Australians in their futures.

Question agreed to.