Page 290 - Week 01 - Thursday, 27 February 2014

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recognised as an organisation and there has certainly been an appreciation from the government for the role they have played on that site, particularly in terms of having people at the location and a lively presence there.

When it comes to the future of their location, I am not going to comment on that matter today and give the undertaking you are seeking in that there is clearly scope for negotiation. My understanding is that AILC have recently also had great success, as is warranted to them, in getting further federal government grants. I am under the impression they may, in fact, need a larger space which may not be available at that site. So it may be that we need to have a discussion with them about whether that is the most appropriate site. At this stage there is no explicit intent to kick them out, which I think is the tenor of your question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what assurances can you give AILC that the future changes imposed on the organisation for use of the premises at Yarramundi Reach will reflect the organisation’s financial capacity?

MR RATTENBURY: I can give them an assurance that through the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs we will work closely with them to get the outcome they need in terms of accommodation.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Lawder, a supplementary question.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what assistance will the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs offer to the AILC should their current accommodation arrangements become untenable?

MR RATTENBURY: I feel like I am being asked a series of hypothetical questions here. There is an insinuation going on that I am not exactly clear about as no-one has exactly put it on the table. So at this stage I have nothing to add to my earlier comments.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what are the benefits of locating the leadership centre here in Canberra?

MR RATTENBURY: Dr Bourke, I think there are real benefits in having the centre here. It is a widely respected centre. The work that they do is acknowledged as being an outstanding contribution to Australia’s Indigenous community. People come from all over Australia to participate in the leadership programs they run. I know that they run some of their programs outside Canberra, and there is a range of reasons for that, but we have a highly respected organisation that is making a very important contribution to furthering opportunities for particularly younger Indigenous Australians—though the leadership courses are not restricted to just younger Indigenous Australians; I have met some people who might be considered a little older who have gone through those courses as well.

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