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Notice given 28 March 2007

*773  Senator Bartlett: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 27 May 2007 marks the 40th anniversary of the referendum giving the Federal Government the power to make laws for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to count them in the census, and

(ii) the referendum was passed with an unprecedented level of support from more than 90 per cent of Australians, and is a great example of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together in support of equal rights for Indigenous people;

(b) recognises the continuing need for the legislative and other powers of the Commonwealth to be used to redress the profound economic and social disadvantage continuing to be experienced by many Indigenous Australians;

(c) acknowledges that efforts of successive governments and parliaments since 1967 have not been successful in eliminating the disadvantages experienced by many Indigenous Australians or in ensuring they have the same opportunities as other Australians;

(d) notes, in particular, the facts that Indigenous Australians:

(i) still have an average life expectancy that is 17 years less than that of their non-Indigenous counterparts,

(ii) represent only 2 per cent of the Australian population but represent more than 14 per cent of people in Australian prisons and even more of those taken into police custody, and

(iii) experience an unemployment rate approximately three times that of non-Indigenous Australians and enjoy an average income only two-thirds the national average;

(e) notes that a truly representative structure, established in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people which will ensure they have a voice in all decisions which affect their communities Indigenous representation is sadly lacking and that there is still no national structure;


 (f) commits to giving greater priority to addressing the needs of Indigenous Australians and to paying greater heed to the diverse views, abilities and achievements of Indigenous Australians from all parts of our nation;

(g) recognises that Australia will not reach its full potential as a nation until there is full respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their unique, valuable and continuing heritage of this land; and

(h) encourages all Australians and all political parties to revive and rebuild the cooperative spirit of the 1967 referendum to complete the unfinished business of ensuring true equality of opportunity for all Australians.

On 12 June 2007

Business of the Senate—Orders of the Day

Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—Standing Committee

Report to be presented on Australia’s Indigenous visual arts and craft sector.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade—Standing Committee

Report to be presented on Australia’s public diplomacy.

Seven sitting days after today (18 June 2007)

Business of the Senate—Notice of Motion