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Date posted: 5 March 2014
Two peak Indigenous groups are this week calling for the government to develop a Closing the gap target on justice.
The National Congress of Australia's First People noted that, prior to the election, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the Coalition was in favour of developing a Closing the gap target on justice, and that promise should be kept. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) is also encouraging the Prime Minister to make a firm commitment and take action to reduce Aboriginal incarceration rates.
NATSILS chairman Shane Duffy said Mr Abbott had demonstrated his best intent towards addressing the disadvantage faced by Indigenous people, but what was needed now was turning good intentions into strong leadership and real action on jail rates. 'While these initial steps are good signs that his intent and commitment are genuine, we are now reaching the point where the public are expecting greater leadership and definitive action.'
On Friday, Senator Scullion reaffirmed its commitment to introducing a new Indigenous Close the gap target on justice, despite fears this would no longer be a priority after Warren Mundine, head of the Prime Minister's Indigenous council, claimed it was unnecessary.
Source: The Australian