Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2876 ..
MS CARNELL: I have some further information for Mr Berry with regard to the Bringing them home report and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council. Do you want me to read it or do you want it in Hansard?
Mr Berry: I would be interested to hear it.
MS CARNELL: Okay, that is fine. With regard to the question Mr Berry asked me, as you are aware, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council has undergone a review over the past few months. An integral part of the process of the review was to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members an opportunity to shape their consultative council so as to ensure that it is representative of the community and that it represents the needs of the community.
The outcome of the review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council is currently being finalised, although some of the issues raised already include modifying the membership of the council (for example, the need for a youth representative); the need for information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council activities to be circulated regularly through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community; and the need for community involvement in the nomination and selection processes for representatives on the council.
Throughout the review process the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Unit staff in my department have undertaken an extensive consultation process. This consultation process included contact being made by mail and phone with each indigenous organisation in the ACT; each organisation being given the opportunity to have staff from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Unit attend at their offices to discuss their view, which opportunity was accessed by several organisations; and staff of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Unit visiting peak organisations such as the Canberra offices of ATSIC, Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation, the Ngunnawal Centre at the University of Canberra, the Aboriginal Medical Service, the Yurauna Centre at Reid CIT and the Ngunnawal Local Aboriginal Land Council in Queanbeyan. It is anticipated that the new council will be appointed by the end of December.
I think Mr Berry also asked me whether not having a council had affected implementation of the Bringing them home report recommendations. We believe that rather than the recommendations of the Bringing them home report suffering as a result of the delay in establishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council, they will benefit from the efforts to ensure that the consultative council is truly representative and is operating effectively. I table that response, Mr Speaker.