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Pearson makes emotional plea for welfare refo -

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(generated from captions) The Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has tonight delivered another plea for welfare reform, outlining an agenda he says will deliver his community on Queensland's Cape York Peninsula from the cycle of poverty. In an emotional address, Mr Pearson said economic independence could help save the culture and heritage of Indigenous Australians and he called for a fundamental change to Aboriginal housing as a key plank of his philosophy. Tom Iggulden reports.

Fresh from escorting the PM through his home town of Hope Vale this week, Noel Pearson outlined his welfare reform agenda to an affluent Sydney crowd gathered at the Australian Stock Exchange.

His reforms are aimed at giving his community the means to engage with the mainstream Australian economy. And to do that, he says, means first addressing what Australian communities take for granted.

And there are a set of social norms

which most Australians take for

granted. They are inherent

granted. They are inherently

conservative. They require people

conservative. They require people to observe some basic rules that

society expects of its members in

relation to mutual responsibilities

in relation to public order and

safety and in relation to

expectations that society has of

members in relation to their

children and their upbringing.

An emotional Mr Pearson chose words

to illustrate how disyointed norms

had become in his home community.

How is it that people who have such

tender love and regard and

infatation with their own children

and their own families can then act

so detrimently in their interests,

in the way they spend their money

and in the way they prioritise

and in the way they prioritise their time and in the way they divert

their attentions? It's a great

paradox. So much love and yet the

incentives are so tragically

misaloined that that love does not

translate into a full tummy

attending school at 8.30 when the

bell rings. And Mr Pearson blamed welfare dependency for eroding

the pride and capabilities of Indigenous communities to engage with mainstream Australia.

In Queensland at least the life

expectancy of an Aboriginal house

has been suggested to me by the

relevant Queensland minister is

relevant Queensland minister is less than 10 years. Well, that is a real

indication of the fact that the

families who live in them have

absolutely no skin in their house.

It's just been provided on a plate

and unless we get. Mr Pearson cited the controversial issue of housing as one area where welfare had eroded pride through handouts.

It is unacceptable at the moment.

It is unacceptable at the moment. We need to deal with the home

ownerships and the vepts and in a

wide range of issues and so I'm a

great supporter of Noel's. You've

got to get the sentiment right.

There are many disincentives to br

brought in. He is very right to raise it. Mr Pearson said the Federal Government had listened to his ideas