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Monday, 26 May 1997
Page: 3952


Mr BEAZLEY (Leader of the Opposition) —Mr Speaker, on indulgence, the Prime Minister and I have just attended a pretty boisterous opening of the Aboriginal Reconciliation Convention in Melbourne. Of course, the concerns that are being expressed there are concerns that impact upon the lives of the whole nation. There is a report coming down into parliament, and I understand it is the government's intention—though our frontbench has not yet been approached—to put in place a resolution relating to the reconciliation process.

One of the things which did occur this morning was the convention standing for a minute's silence to reflect upon the concerns and the problems that have been endured by many indigenous Australians over the years and particularly as reflected in the report that will be shortly forthcoming from the government. I thought it was a very dignified and very appropriate commemoration of a nation's mourning and a nation's condolence.

Mr Speaker, I just wonder whether it might be appropriate for you to call upon the chamber—as we have no motion before us and none apparently approaching—to similarly so acknowledge it. Today is the beginning of the convention. I believe this is the appropriate moment for that to be done.