|Reconciliation||CHURCH OFFICE QUESTIONS PM'S RECONCILIATION BACKDOWN RATIONALE|
The Broome Diocesan Social Justice office has responded with scepticism to the Prime Minister's capitalising on research which concludes that Australians do not favour a formal apology to indigenous Australians and are ambivalent about the process of reconciliation itself.
The survey was conducted by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. The Coordinator of the Office of Justice, Ecology & Peace in Broome, Br Shane Wood, said that the research actually demonstrates a great need for better education of the Australian people about the issues involved in reconciliation.
Mr Howard last week abandoned his target to complete the reconciliation process by the end of the year, saying it will continue for many years. Later he cited the survey results as a justification for his position.
"It does not mean that the process ought be abandoned or that a national apology is not the right and decent thing for our Prime Minister and his Government to do. This should not be a party political issue in any case; it is a moral issue that our nation must face," Br Wood said.
The Coordinator of the Office of Justice, Ecology & Peace in Broome, Br Shane Wood, said: "Generally the Prime Minister says he pays no attention to what the public thinks or the polls indicate. If it were true it would not say much for his skills as a politician. The fact that the poling in this case comes down on his side of the argument might have something to do with his response on this matter," he concluded.
- Broome Diocese Office of Justice, Ecology & Peace