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Bishop welcomes move to curb exploitation of Aboriginies

Chairman of the Australian Bishops' Committee for Aboriginies, Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome, has welcomed a West Australian Government move to protect indigenous people from exploitation by some liquor outlets.

On 12 February, WA Premier Geoff Gellop revealed that some businesses in the state held bank access cards and PINs owned by Aboriginal people to whom they sell alcohol.

The bank access cards and PINs are needed by Aboriginies to access their welfare benefits paid into banks and they can be left without cash for food.

Bishop Saunders said he because aware of the practice in at least two liquor outlets in his diocese last year.

"I went into it immediately and discovered that it is no illegal," he said.

"Aboriginal people can drink until their account is empty. One young man told me it was good because you can drink until your money runs out and then get credit."

Catholic Leader