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Justice Commission wants Govt to explode myths on Native Title

It's time for Australia's political leaders to take seriously reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, according to Melbourne's Catholic Commission For Justice Development and Peace.

The Commission issued a statement yesterday asserting that 'practical' reconciliation has "failed to achieve political, economic and social rights for Indigenous Australians".

"There is a lack of national leadership in dispelling myths and fears surrounding Native Title issues, a national apology and the need for a Treaty," said the Commission CEO Marc Purcell. "In 2003 we need achieve real Reconcillation in Australia by recognising the right of Indigenous Australians to self determination."

Mr Purcell called on the Government to "respond with good will: to calls from indigenous Australians for discussions about a Treaty, self-determination and compensation of the Stolen Generation,

He cited as evidence of the failure of practical reconciliation:

* Life expectancy for Aboriginal people is 15 to 20 years below that of other Australians.

* Indigenous Australians make up 2% of the population, but are 16 times more likely to be Incarcerated.

* Aboriginal children are ten times more likely to become involved with the child protection system than non-Aboriginal children.

Catholic Commission For Justice Development and Peace

Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace

10 Dec 2002