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Commission urges separate Indigenous Affairs ministers

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane this week called for separate State and Federal Indigenous Affairs Ministers.

Commission executive officer Peter Arndt said the call was made in the hope that greater progress could be made in overcoming problems faced by Indigenous Australians.

"It is concerning that in Canberra Phillip Ruddock is not only Indigenous Affairs Minister, but also Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs," Mr Arndt said.

"The enormous range of difficult problems in Indigenous health, education, employment, imprisonment and family violence makes it sensible and necessary to have a Federal Minister who can concentrate solely on Indigenous issues without having other significant responsibilities as well," he said.

"It would be a welcome move in the wake of recent positive signs of improving relationships between the Prime Minister and Indigenous leaders," he said.

"The Prime Minister (pictured) had a productive meeting with Indigenous leaders on the issue of family violence and I note with pleasure that he will visit Aboriginal communities in Cape York," he said.

"Indigenous children deserve a decent future without poverty, violence, poor health and unemployment and both Canberra and Brisbane should take advantage of this recent change in the relationship between John Howard and the Indigenous community to give Indigenous children real hope that this is possible," Mr Arndt said.

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (Brisbane)

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (Brisbane)
Department of Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs | Minister
Howard moved by Aboriginal please (Herald-Sun 7/8/03)
Govt failing young people: study (The Age)
Howard heeds cry for help (Courier-Mail)
Aboriginal Catholic leader urges wholistic response to violence (1/8/03)
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

8 Aug 2003