…An Aboriginal woman [Moopor] clad in animal skins has put a traditional curse on Prime Minister John Howard, apparently in retaliation for government plans to abolish Australia’s top indigenous elected body….Howard smiled and waved at Moopor before leaving…It was not clear what effect the curse was intended to have on the prime minister….With 17 commissioners elected by Aboriginal voters and a budget of more than $600 million, [the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission] administers government-funded projects aimed at improving their lives.

What did they do with the $600 million?

But Howard said on April 15 that his government plans to abolish the 14-year-old commission because it has failed to improve the lot of most Aborigines, who remain the poorest, sickest and least educated minority group among Australia’s 20 million people. In place of ATSIC, the government wants to appoint a panel of Aboriginal experts to advise it on indigenous needs. [CNN, Hat Tip: B. Harburg-Thomson]

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