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Today at the National Press Club - influential indigenous representative Pat Dodson. The man best known as the father of reconciliation, and constitutional recognition advocate is preparing for a new career as a Labor Senator representing WA. Pat Dodson at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Good afternoon and welcome to the National Press Club and today's Westpac address. I'm Catherine Murphy, deputy political editor of 'Guardian' Australia and I'm also a director of the club. Welcome to our audience in the room, watching through broadcast at home and if you are wanting to get involved in the conversation online, today our hashtag is NPC and our twitter handle is@Press Club aust. Our guest today requires very limited introduction by me. Since the 1970, Pat Dodson has been a leader in his own community and in the Australian community. He has - he has won the apparition as the father of reckon selldation - Appalachian as father of reconciliation. Shortly he will be embarking on a new chapter. He will be entering the Parliament as a Senator for the Labor Party in WA. That is quite some fork in the road, and I'm sure we will get some interesting reflections today about that transition which is imminent. Bill Shorten, the leader of the Labor Party, has describes our guest as a truth teller, a powerful advocate for recognition, justice, equality and fairness. Please join me in welcoming Mr Dodson to the podium.

Thank you very much for the welcome, and for this opportunity. I acknowledge Bill Shorten, the leader of the Australian Labor Party, Warren Snowden and Shane numon and any of the other - numon here
and any of the other dignitaries here from other political parties. I want to firstly, though, acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, and I pay my respects to the elders both past and present, and I acknowledge the indigenous leaders that are here today as well. I also want to pay my respects to the families of those who have died in custody in the 25 years since the royal commission. I acknowledge your pain, your frustration and hurt with the criminal justice system and the loss of life of your loved ones. I am here today at the very kind invitation of the Press Club to offer some observations on the royal commission into about deaths in custody, 25 years after we handed down our report and its 339 recommendations. The royal commission was established by the Hawke government in 1987. To examine the deaths of 99 Aboriginal persons who had died in police custody and prison custody between 1989.
the period of January 1980 and May 1989. The commission's report was put together by Elliott Johnson t, late el yotd Johnson and a team of commissioners that included HAL Wooton, Lou Wyvell, the late Dan O'Dea and myself. My task was to review the underlying issues giving rise to the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody in WA. In this I was well served by a great team which included the late Rob Riley, PD Peter ewe, HAL Lane, Jackie Oakley and Darryl Keegan. And our report highlighted the systemic disadvantage and institutional racism that contributed to the dispropartionate rates of - disproportionate rates of imprisonment and custody of Aboriginal peoples. Since the royal commission handed down its report, some 750 people have died in 20% of
custody. Indigenous people make up 20% of these deaths. Or about one in five of those deaths that have occurred. Alarmingly, the rate at which indigenous people are imprisoned has more than doubled over the past 25 years. At the time of the royal commission, some 14% of those in custody were indigenous. Today, it is around 27% and this is in spite of the commission's recommendation that prison be a measure of last resort. This growth is not tied to the crime rate. It well and truly exceeds it. We in Aboriginal peoples, indigenous peoples are being imprisoned at a rate that is a staggeringly 13 times higher than that for non-indigenous people. And unfortunately that rate appears to be accelerating. In some states, like my own of WA, these rates are even higher. At June 2015, the ABS statistics showed we comprised 38% or some 2,113 prisoners of the adult prison population. And we get incarcerated at a rate that is 17 times higher than for non-indigenous people. There are some exceptions to this bleak picture. Notably the reduction in hanging deaths due to the removal of fixture points in the cells. But by and large the problem that the royal commission was set up to have
examine and advice governments on have become worse. This raises questions as to how effectively the commission's recommendations have been implemented in the period since. And whether the issues identified by the commission are upd or even considered important. Certainly one has to wonder what happened to the principle of imprisonment as a last resort and the 29 recommendations relating to this issue. ? This regard the criminal justice policies driving the current upward trend in indigenous custody rates cannot be overlooked. Mandatory sentencing, imprisonment for fine defaults, paperless arrest laws, tough bail and parole conditions, and punitive sentencing regimes certainly haven't helped. Neither do funding cuts to front-line Legal Aid services. And an ad - and inadequate resourcing for much-needed devicery programs an re-entry programs to break the cycle of recidivism. Paperless arrest laws in the NT are particularly concerning. These laws provide a new set of powers for arrest and detention without warrant, and apply to trivial offences, which do not even carry imprisonment as a penalty. Effectively they enable the police to arrest someone who they believe or think is going to commit a crime or an offence, regardless of whether or not an offence has actually been committed. Paperless arrests do not require the police to bring the person before the court as soon as practicable. Surely one of the most fundamental rights that we should have as a citizen, regardless of who we are, where we live, or how we live. Paperless law arrests like mandatory sentencing are typical of a law and order tough on crime mentality. It frames a great deal of the political conversation about indigenous incarceration and in justice. This rhetoric and the political thinking behind it has authored the criminalisation of many of our people. As the commission noted decades ago, "In many cases, in fact a great majority of cases, Aboriginal people come into custody as a result of relatively trivial and often victimless offences. Typically street offences related to alcohol and language. Many of these offences would not occur or would not be noticed were it not for the adoption of particular policing policies which concentrate police numbers in certain areas and police effort on the scrutiny of Aboriginal people. " Those arrested are criminalised in several ways. They acquire criminal records, they are definds as deviant, not only in the eyes of the police but by the broader society. They are introduced to custody and circumstances where they feel resentment rather than guilt. And hence arrest and custody ceases to be a matter of shame. It seems indigenous people are still being taken to custody far too often. This suggests that legislators in some jurisdictions have not learnt from the past. And are still intent on arresting their way out of indigenous disadvantage. The passing of a Wal Prix man, Mr Langdon in custody last year, was a case in point and encapsulates the pointlessness or absurdity of it all. Mr Langdon had been in NT police custody for around three hours. Following a so-called paperless arrest. Earlier that day, the police had seen him drinking from a plastic bottle in a public park. Mr Langdon died of a heart attack, but the coroner later found that Mr Lang - Langdon, "had done nothing to bring Hills to the attention of the police - himself to the attention of the police people
beyond being with other Aboriginal people in a public park in the Darwin CBD. ". He was not violent. He was not uttering threats. He was not swearing or being offensive in any way. Under Liquor Act, Mr Langdon's offence carried a monetary penalty. Following his arrest, he was issued with an infringement notice before he was taken to the watch house. Leading the coroner to question why detention was necessary at all. As he put it, Mr Langdon, a sick, middle-aged Aboriginal man, was treated like a criminal and incarcerated like a criminal. He built to
died in a police cell which was built to house criminals. He died in his sleep with strangers in the cold and concrete cell. He died of natural causes and always likely was to die suddenly due to his chronic and serious heart disease. But he was entitled to die in peace in the comfort of family and friends. In the coroner's words, he was entitled to die as a free man. The case of Miss Dew, a 29-year-old woman who died in the police lockup in Port headlands, where she was detained for a fine default is yet another devastating story. The coronial inquiry into her death is still taking place. So I won't comment further, except to say that her story could be plucked at random from almost any modern story of Aboriginal in justice. For our communities the story line is all too familiar. The minor offence, the innocuous behaviour, the unnecessary detention, the failure to uphold a duty of care, the lack of respect for human dignity, the lonely death, the grief and loss and pain of the family. If the recommendations of the royal commission had been prioritised and resourced by governments at the federal, state and territory levels over the past decade, could we have prevented deaths of people like Ms Duw, Mr Ward in WA, and Mr Langdon in the NT and the many others?

I am not sure about that fact. But what I know is that a quarter of a century after we handed down our findings the vicious cycle remains the same. Indigenous people are more likely to come to the attention of the police, indigenous people who come to the attention of the police are more likely to be arrested and charged, and indigenous people who are charged are more likely to go to court, and indigenous people who appear in court are more likely to go to jail. If indigenous people are being taken into custody at an increasing rate, then it stands to reason that our chances of dying in custody also increases. The statistics speak for themselves, and the cold hard fact remains an indictment on all of us. In the past decade alone, the incarceration rate for indigenous men has more than doubled. Dwing youth now comprise over 50 - indigenous youth now comprise over 50% of juveniles in detention. As our indigenous Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda observes, Australia is better at sending young indigenous People men back to jail than we are keeping them in school. For indigenous People women, the rate of imprisonment is increasing even faster. A 74% increase in the past 15 years. One in every three women in Australian jails is indigenous. As the law council notes a range of factors contribute to offending by indigenous women. But poverty, homelessness, and high rates of violence and sexual abuse against women along with drugs and alcohol abuse linked to the trauma they experienced tend to bring indigenous women into contact with the criminal justice system. At an increasingly higher rate, often leading to the tariffial and minor offences. Sadly what this suggests is that indigenous women end up in prison in - ending up in prison are more likely to have been victims themselves. Mental illness is also a growing concern. Researchers Eileen bauldry and Ruth McAusland and others show that indigenous people with mental health and cognitive difficulties including disabilities like FAS are being imprisoned at higher rates in Australia. In the absence of appropriate community-based services and support, these people end up in the criminal justice system where they are managed by the
default by police, the courts and the prisonss. The impact of all of this on indigenous families and communities, particularly children, is overwhelming. We get an insight into the ripple effect when we look at the number of indigenous children in out of home care, which now newspapers around 15,000 nationally. If we are to disrupt the trends, we must invest in re building capacity of families and communities, to deal with the social problems that contribute to these appalling indicators. We need to prioritise and ensure front line services are not only resourced to respond to crisis but can develop preventive programs that engage the community in winding back the ravages of drug and alcohol abuse, the scourge of family violence and welfare depen densy. For the vast bulk of our people, the legal system is not a trusted instrument of justice. It is a feared and despised processing plant that propels the most vulnerable and disabled of our people towards a broken, bleak future. Surely a - as a nation we are better than this. We need a smarter form of justice that takes us beyond a narrow eyed focus on punishment and penalties. To look more broadly at a vision of justice as coherent and integrated whole. Not as a closed system but as an integrated life process that allowed some sense of healing and rehabilitation. Such an approach should consider innovative approaches to justice that can often effective solutions to offending behaviour. Justice reininvestment is one such approach. Such approaches suggest that unproductive expenditure on prisons should instead be invested in programs at the front end that aim to reduce crime and prevent people entering the criminal justice system. Building more jails and enabling laws that ensure the incarceration rates of indigenous peoples who is not - is not the solution. And certainly not a good use of the taxpayers' money. As a recent vulnerability report from the Red Cross, the Australian Red Cross suggests, there is a potential saving of almost 2.3 billion dollars over five years if resources were devoted to reducing the rate of incarceration by 2% per annum. Such savings could be invested in the social support and health services that would over time address the underlying causes of crime. Addressing the issue of high incarceration rates is not that of the government's alone, however. It requires a whole of community response and it will only be achieved by us working together. This echoes a call from the royal commission all those years ago. It is time for our own communities to drive the change the ground that is necessary to build better futures for the next generation. This must include valuing education and creating opportunities for the next generation to flourish. We will not be liberated from the tyranny of the criminal justice system unless we also acknowledge the problems in our own communities and take responsibility for the hurt we inflict and cause on other Family violence, substance abuse, and neglect of children should not be tolerated as the norm. And those that perpetuate and benefit from the misery caused to our people need to be held accountable. If we are serious about addressing these issues, we must work together and agree the road forward. But these policies must engage indigenous peoples in a genuine dialogue. And that dialogue must translate into real partnerships that enables local communities to devise solutions to the problems that confront them. Bench marks and strategies to achieve them must be set with agreements of the communities. With sufficient flexibility to allow for regional variations. As we know, a one-size-fits-all approach simply will not be effective. It also requires that investment in communities not die on the vine policies that lead to community closure by stealth and place more of our people at risk of coming into conduct with the criminal justice system, the Australian Parliament needs to be more open to the idea of engaging in a formal way with indigenous peoples on matters that affect our social, cultural, economic interest as well as our political status within the nation's state. I hope that as a Senator for WA thanks to Bill Shorten and the Labor Party I can stimulate and play a constructive role in this discussion. What is clear to me, though, is that this discussion must be framed by a philosophy of empowerment of self- determination. As commissioner Elliott Johnson said, 25 years ago, the whole thrust of this report is directed towards empowerment of Aboriginal societies on the basis of their deeply held desire, their demonstrated capacity, their democratic right to exercise according to circumstances, maximum control over their lives, and that of their communities. He went on to add, such empowerment requires that the broader society on the other hand makes material assistance available to make good past depravations. And on the other hand approach the relationship with the Aboriginal society on the basis of the principles of self- determination. If we are to be authors of our own destinies, then government must stoping us as passive clients. Or as targets of policy of main streaming. It is imperative that the policy context change for those changes are necessary. So indigenous people are viewed as part of the solution, not just as problems to be resolved. For that to happen, we must recognise the common humanity we share and we to ask ourselves why indigenous people in this country are being disproportionately incarcerated even to this day. On my measure the current incarceration of indigenous people are a complete and utter disgrace. Accepting the permits the criminal justice system to continue to suck us up like a vacuum cleaner and deposit us like waste in custodian institutions. I would hope that we are better than that. We must be better than that. There is no choice here. This tragic outlook will only change if we work together, all of us. I want to end by acknowledging the hard work of those at the front line and those who have been advocating for reform in this area for many decades. I am committed to working with you, and urge all who have capacity to do so to join with those who have been waging a campaign to change the record.

Thank you very much for a very profound speech that raised a number of really important issues. I am going to exercise my prerogative as moderator to ask the proceedings.
first question of today's proceedings. Mr Dodson, you said in your speech that legislators - part of the reason we're in our current conundrum about these issues is that legislators haven't learnt the lessons of the past. You're about to become a legislator.And join the legislators. Now, approaching that task how do you help the current crop of legislators learn the lessons of the past? And at the same time how do you learn the lessons of your new forum, which is about party discipline, about putting the needs of the collective over the desires of the individual, and how do you manage expectations in your own community given you are such a significant leader in your own community and you are about to politics?
be absorbed into mainstream politics? We will just start on that easy question!

Thanks for the easy question!

The shifts since the 25 years has been clearly in the minds of the political people. 25 years ago police were the aidium of the indigenous public but today it's the legislate orts. Your question is very apt because the legislators who want to maintain tough on want
crime, law and order campaign, who want to continue to mandate sentencing are simply leading to the high incarceration rates. Now, I would hope someone said that the Parliament was a place for adults. And certainly the Senate was place for adults. And I would hope that the debates around this and I know the Senate legal committee has had many deliberations about this, an angst over it. And they opened to discussions that have come and submissions that have been put to them by various segments of our society. So the opens on the the concerns I think at the parliamentary level, certainly at the federal level, seems to be there. When you see High Court judges - not High Court judge, I'm sorry, the Supreme Court judges going off to conferences to talk about these issues, raise their concerns about incarceration, you can't be blinded to the fact that there's something that is not right. The nexus between law and politics is the difficulty. And the politicians are the ones who are accountable in this inentrance. Because if they make bad laws, or laws that enable these high levels of incarceration, then there has to be political remedies to that. How those recommend days are worked through I suppose will be a question of a lot of debate and consideration. But as Australians we cannottollate raet any further these appalling statistics that we see in front of us, we can't bury our heads. And we can't go back to business as usual. As if we simply let this slide off the ladder. You have the Parliament being recalled to deal with legislation on trade unions. I should be being re called in my view to deal with these apalling custody late rate - appalling custody rates of the first peoples of this country and to set their minds as to how best to find better ways to reduce them. We're moving to media questions. The first question is from the ABC. Thank you Mr Dodson for your speech today. My first question does follow on from Cath rinse and the question is you've skirted around the edges but why is it that you think particularly in the NT and WA legislators, politicians are taking this tough on crime approach? What is it that you see first hand as the reason that they're doing that and they're successfully being voted into power with that as part of their mandate? And, secondly, on a very different issue but one that a has been raised today you've been heavily involved in reconciliation today. There is still a question you
mark over the Uluru rock climb. Doe you think Labor should take a policy to the next election to close that climb?The first one might be the easier one. The question of NT and WA is because rates
they do have appalling custody rates an there are some good things happening. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that there are some good things happening. In Victoria for example Koori courts are operating. They're making a Dinh difference and many v many of the justices are grappling with this. There's a bit more enlightenment in the legislative regime. NSW are grappling with this. Unfortunately Adam Burke with one of the those justice re investment programs there is no investment from the state, but others are supporting it. There are some pockets of things happening. In the territory and in WA there's a development at all cost mentality where over the years you have known about the NT Land Rights Act and the capacity of the indigenous people to have a say in relation to the impacts that the lands
development might have on their lands lands. If you are a government you don't want that, particularly if it's federal law like the NT is still a territory. So there is a federal law that operating there that gives indigenous peoples capacity to deal with the im Pat on their lands and to protect their practices and parts of their social well being. WA is notoriously go back to nooken baa, the Argyle diamond mine, you go back to a whole period where indigenous peoples were deemed to be obstruction ist to the advancement of pastoralism, pearling whaenks it's been, mining. It is the mentality we have as a nation state that has to change here. Indigenous people want to be part of the economy, they want to wealth
make sure the future provides wealth and opportunity for their families and their communities. So we can't deal them out. We can't incarcerate them to get rid of them out of the way. And if you get rid of that mentality, you might find there will be something better. You asked about Uluru, Uluru as you know is managed by a park council. The wishes of the park council is a matter I am not clear what their current position is. But if there is a wish by the current park council to deal with the disregarding of their cultural and beliefs about climbing the rock that is something I think a Labor serious
Government would have to take serious concern about. On the other hand, there are warning signs at the bottom of the rock, as I recall, that ask people not to climb and to respect the religious beliefs. Now, that is a matter of self- discipline and self- education. And people would be far better if people responded in a respectful manner to those wishes rather than have the heavy hand of Parliaments or others intervene. Next question is from the West Australian.Phoebe from the West Australian newspaper: Thanks very much for your speech, Professor Dodson. A trial of the cashless welfare card gets under way in the east Kimberley this month. The Labor Party, your party, supports the trials. I'd like I acknowledge you are from the West Kimberley but I would like to hear from you whether you support the cashless welfare card trials an what impact do you think those cards will have in the east Kimberley.If I can answer the last part if I knew what the effects were I would be more answer.
than optimistic to give you an answer. It's an attempt to deal with the set of circumstances at a regional level that people believe is going to deal with some of the social impacts that are occurring that they particularly find difficult or troubling or concerns. It's devised by people in that part of the world under the leadership of people from the - from that part of the Kimberley. I think the Labor Party would be open to matters where regional solutions are being worked through. Where people's rights are not necessarily being violated but where there is a remedy brought about that will enable an improvement to the social circumstances. Sometimes you have to have some kind of circuit breaker. I am not suggesting you do that on a constant basis because that will be totally inappropriate. But in some circumstances you need to have positive responses to the initiatives of the communities. And if the communities are deciding this is what they want to try, then I don't see why we shouldn't try that and allow it. On the other hand we haven't got much right from dictating from Canberra or anywhere else. Sew wer 50 better off trying to collaborate with the local communitieses when they come up with the solution.AAP.Hi, Professor. I was hoping to ask you a more personal question about your career and when we might be able to call you a Senator. Do you have any updates on the timing of your entrance into the Senate?? Are you preparing for the possibility of in a double dissolution situation it may not be this Parliamentry term? And are you disappointed at bull by Senator Bullock's delay in exiting the Senate so you potentially could have been there on Monday when it's ry recall and now that's not possible? Does that disappoint you? Just finally, there's few questions there!?Your entrance bo the Senate is getting closer, have you had any advice on whether you will be able to wear the hat in the chamber?I am glad you got the important issue first. Look, I am not an expert on the rule of the Senate just yet but I understand that there is no particular rule in the Senate against wearing hats. There is in the other place. But not in the Senate. So we've yet to see that. The other parts of your question - these things take some time. And I suppose when you get to my age you are not necessarily trying to do the 100 yard sprint in 10 seconds. You understand that people's grappling with major decisions, as Senator Bullock did, took a point of principle and said he was resigning and then he's obviously had to work out his affairs in relation to that. And he has done that. My understanding is he's tabled his letter of resignation today and that the processes are well in train to see me in the Senate as soon as practicable. So I would be looking forward to that. , as soon as that arises. I think that the leadership team in the Senate will certainly enjour that Labor is not disadvantaged if I'm not there. They will get a pair to cover any vacancy in the short term. But it's a longer term road. Senate positions are there for a while. If there's a double dissolution it's 6-year period of life, you have to tut putt in. Or at least you have the potential to do that. And there are many things to be done. They're not necessarily going to be all done in these particular sittings. I am not im patient about that but obviously you want to get on and get the job moving. I am more than confident that we are now moving those processes as quickly as they can be moved.From SBS.Thank you very much for your speech. I'd like to ask you how effective you think justice re investment programs or policies could be if big part of the problem is maybe a culture or attitude shift or a problem within police forces.Any entrenched cultural attitude that is opposed to an initiative will always be a challenge, whether it's police or custodial officers or medical people. That is part of the problem. Some of these deaths that have occurred people haven't bothered to - the notion of duty of care is not clearly well understood. That came from the royal commission. I think there are many police that are trying to do the right thing. I don't think every police officer is necessarily opposed. There may be come. But as you've seen in WA, with the women at Fitzroy crossing who took an initiative to ban full strength alcohol, they had the support of the Police Commissioner in that initiative. So many things are possible. Dialogue, discussion and involvement and exposure to the - at the end of the day the police are the people who are picking up people. And they confront or encounter people at possibility the worst positions that they possibly are or can be in. So if you can see that you can keep people out of repeat offending, through the initiatives of whatever they might be, the practicalities of the a
rereinvestment program that will be a plus for community as well as for the police force. You don't want to be simply putting people into jail. I don't believe that is really what the police force is there for anyway. The reininvestment capacity is to help with how to keep people out of the criminal justice system as well as out of custody. Anything that works towards that by way of a prom or a process requires the participation of a range of people. But the initiatives have to be carried through and once they are carried through people will see the benefits of them. And they will be convinced by fact rather than rhetoric.'Guardian' Australia. Thank you for your speech. You've spoken in the pastant your opposition to the NT intervention. I believe you said it's setback reconciliation. While that was a Coalition-led policy, Labor did support it. So my question for you is - is there a line for you in which you will support the party? Will you speak out on policies that you think are detrimental to indigenous people and where is that line when it comes to unity versus your own passion on issues relating to indigenous affairs?Well, there's a saying old dogs are hard to teach new tricks.I think my position will be well heard in the kuk Caucus. And the arguments will be fought and won on that floor. I would hope and I have no reason to believe that the Labor Party is not a forward looking party. I think the politics of the intervention were wrong. I still say that. I believe that that was wrong. I believe the vilification of the Aboriginal people and particularly men in that in stance were particularly hurtful. Communities have been devastated. There's been a whole way to alienate land from Aboriginal people under amendments to the land rights act. I think that is wrong. So there are many aspects to that intervention that really have to be weighed and considered. I am still of the strong view that it has done a lot of damage. And if the party in the future has an inclination to go down those sorts of visions or those sort of directions, I will certainly let them know clearly what my position is. It's a democracy. No-one is has tried to gag me yet.I will pick you up on that point, the framing of these very significant issues you are raising today is essentially a moral one. There are moral lines that humans can't compromise on. You've said you will make your view known but in the event that your view is not the Labor Party's view, what then do you do?It's such a hypothetical, I don't know. I think you have to weigh these things up in the course of what are the facts and what the positive an negatives and not everything always has a negative connotation, some goo good coming out of things you & disagree. With sometimes your is
understanding of what is god Good is at the time may not be as well developed as it becomes developed. As time goes by. Most of us were told by our parents to eat certain foods which we didn't like, till we understand now that is probably good for us. So there's a learning process what I'm saying with these things. And you can't just have a fixated view on every matter. You to weigh and analyse and be informed and the search for one of the things I did learn from looking at Gandhi was the conset of what he has of the search for the truth. What is the truth of the situation? And can that truth prevail? And how do we get the truth to prevail when there is not sufficient understanding? - on what the subject is about? That might sounds airy fairy in a political debate but that is what we're talking about. We are talking about what is the truth of the matter we want to impact and how good is it and what is it going to lead to? If it's for political expediency that is clearly a moral matter and you would be very opposed to it. But if it's to deliver a better good for the community and for human beings then you - even if your position is contrary you might be inclined to agree with it.Keating Media. My question is about the former PM Tony Abbott. In his government he took quite a personal introduce in indigenous affairs and had it as government.
one of his key points of the government. Do you see a role for Tony Abbott in indigenous affairs in the future?I can't realised he joined the Labor Party! But if he job!
did I presume Bill would give him a job! Look look, you can't doubt the passion that the previous PM had in terms of Aboriginal affairs and I am sure he would want to try to find ways to express that. I know he falls in a few holes every now and then when he says things that have upset many indigenous peoples but he is one of the early people who to ring and congrat laelt me on my nomination and selection by Bill Shorten and the Labor Party. So he has got an abiding interest and so does the PM Malcolm Fraser - Malcolm Turnbull! Understand? Sometimes I think Malcolm might be taking us back to Malcolm's era! But Mr Turnbull's position, but, look, this is a wonderful country Australia, despite a lot of things we have. You have people in the Parliament who deby long to different tribes and I said at one stage they am not interested in trading tribalism from indigenous affairs to tribal ism in the white fella's arena and their particular bround of war fare. I would be interest and I am interest and I've and
had this discussion with Bill Bill and others in the Labor Party to look at how we can collaborate on key mat evers like incars raeseration rates. There should be no question, there should be no question about us finding a collaborative mechanism to reduce those incarceration rates for the bittermentment of our nation. It is not a matter of which party has the best idea. It's a matter of ution an we don't have diepship yet but we have to find that - bipartisanship yet but we have to find. That and I would be keen to work with Tony Abbott and whoever else to establish that collaboration on that and any other matter.Crikey.Thank you for your speech today. You referred to the bad odour in which legislators are held by indigenous communities which is probably an assessment you could extend more liedwidely to the community. My question is about that, in recent years there has been a small improvement in the under-representation of indigenous communities in Federal Parliament, obviously in recent months a quite significantly with Labor. Assuming political parties want to do so, how do they maintain that and then strength en that representation to start moving towards addressing the long-term historic under-representation of indigenous communities? How do legislatedors engage with indigenous communities to actually get them to want to participate in Parliament or does it have to always be somal ternive version of captain's picks in terms of improving indigenous representation?It's always better for the openness of how people come to Parliament. I think. I think that the policies that particular parties have and that's why I have thrown my hat in the ring with the Labor Party because I have a lot of empathy with a lot of their policies. We may disagree on some matters. The example that is being led - I saw Noel Pearson stand in this room and regret the fact he made the wrong turn at the tendser age of 35. But it's never too late. And I think that there's a lot of talent in indigenous affairs and indigenous peoples who are now could quite easily thaik their place in the preselection processes, if they become members of parties. I think it's how those doors are open initially and I would hope that the fact that there is a growing number of indigenous parliamentarians now in the federal arena and on the other side as well, that it gives heart and hope to other younger indigenous people that it is possible to be a member of the party, whatever party they choose, and to become a parliamentarian. And to play a role in the issues that confront indigenous people. Not only those issues but many other issue. I think it would be wrong to suggest that every person in Parliament should be the expert on indigenous peoples because that would be a fatality. So you who think they're the expert on everything will be tremendously disappointed. There are many other interests we. Have I am interested in Northern Australia, how are we going to develop Northern Australia and how do we make sure the people who live in Northern Australia are part of the wealth that is generated from it. And that the social and cultural heritages of indigenous peoples gets also protected and looked after. And the prosperity of pastoral ists and others get es looked after. Sew with have a wide interest of many matters. You have heard me speak passionately about criminal justice. I am just concerned at the rates at which Australians are being incarcerated as I am about indigenous people. So with we have to do something about the laws that impact other Australians as much as they primarily impact indigenous peoples. But I am interested in how they impact others. I think we should look at the broader issue and I think if parties put forward a sense of their policies that cover a wide range of factors where people can identify with, then I am sure that in the next years we will see a greater level o of indigenous people lining up to be part of that. We have a wonderful democracy. We go through this pant mime at selection times an people think that is politics. That is hard and rough but it is not real politic. Real politic is achieving good out comes for the betterment of the people and that means collaboration with those who have you.
not necessarily the same view as you. And when you can achieve that for the better of the nation that is the better thing to do, whether one group spores you for the preselection is another matter. That is a smaller part of the politics though. The bigger part of the politics is now can you try to be effective in getting good out comes for the betterment of the nation.

# Theme music

Hello and welcome. Our guest tonight has been writing
novels for over half a century and few writers have made their mark
on a genre quite like PD James. The queen of the detective novel
began publishing in 1962 with Cover Her Face featuring everybody's favourite
detective and poet Adam Dalgliesh. She's written some 14 Dalgliesh
novels since, ventured down a dystopian side road
with the Children of Men and most recently,
embroiled the characters from Jane Austen's
Pride and Prejudice in a shocking tale
of murder and mayhem in Death Comes to Pemberley. Baroness of Holland Park, PD James,
thank you so much for joining us. Well, it's lovely to be here,
it really is, Jennifer. Why don't we start
with Death Comes to Pemberley? Because I got the impression you had an enormous amount of fun
writing that book. I did! I did. I loved writing it. What happened really was I'd written
the last detective story - the Private Patient -
a long book, as you'll know, and I felt, you know,
with my 92nd birthday coming, would I be able to sustain
a very long one? And I got this idea
at the back of my mind - I'd had it there for a long time - it would be wonderful to combine
my two greatest enthusiasms in life, for writing detective fiction
and for Jane Austen. So that's what I settled to do and it was... the greatest one
to write, it really was. Did you have no compunction, Phyllis, about introducing the sordid world
of murder into the happy, happy life
of Pemberley? Well, no, not really, Jennifer, because I'm always doing that! I'm always introducing the horrid
heart of murder into all sorts of quite comfortable
householdsand organisations, whether they're training schools or forensic science laboratories
or whatever. When I get to them,
something awful happens. Um...
And you have no shame? Oh, none at all, dear, no.
I'm quite shameless about that. But... I think what's so important
in a detective story is contrast and here we do have the contrast
between Pemberley, which represents beauty
and order and hierarchy and security and jobs for people
who are happy working there and a happy marriage and children
and the future and so on, and then the wild world outside. Um... And there's a scene, isn't there, when they're having dinner
and the Bingleys are there, and afterwards,
while they're having music, Elizabeth just thinks to herself that here they are sitting in
the most civilised country in Europe with all its art and its literature and its beautiful furniture
around them and somehow
there is a world outside which is just as violent
as the animal world but they're protected against it and how long can they be protected
by wealth and position and comfort, from this other world? And then the other world impinges. Do you think, generally,
that murders - the form of a murder,
the motive of murders - reflect a change over history? I think so. I think so. But presumably...
probably, the motives are much the same
as they've always been and I suppose anger, jealousy, lust for money, and often to save
somebody else... get rid of somebody
who may be going to do damage to someone you love,
all sorts of motives, but I suppose the sort of anger
and jealousy, especially sexual jealousy... there's no doubt how many murders
we read in our papers, you know, boyfriends who've been thrown
over somebody else, husbands who find their wives
are unfaithful, um... So you're saying these things
are universal? They've always been there,
haven't they? They've always been there. There's less excuse now
to murder for money, though. People are richer. Oh, much less. You see, some of the most
interesting cases are the Victorian ones
where women have murdered husbands usually with arsenic.
(Chuckles) Yes. And it's all very terrible,
we know. But you're laughing! (Laughs) Well, I'm laughing because I'm just
sort of thinking, you know, if I were a husband,
I'd get very suspicious if I saw that there flypapers
hanging in the kitchen, but, um... No, they were in a situation,
before the law was changed, when they married,
their money went to their husbands, and if their husband was cruel
or sadistic or had very unpleasant
sexual habits, they couldn't get rid of him. They had to find cruelty
as well as infidelity. Whereas he could get rid of a wife
very easily. So there was no equality
and your money just went so what power did you have? So I think they often felt, you
know, just got to get rid of him! But I don't know why I'm laughing
because it's a terrible thing. Well, I'm laughing because people
have said this to me - there's something so incongruous
about this elegant 92-year-old, in your lilac jacket, talking about
ghastly methods of murder! (Laughs)Well, I know!
And it certainly isn't... But there's some
very interesting cases because, yet again,
you get the contrast between their crowded drawing rooms, the respectability of their lives,
you know what the Victorians were... and underneath,
these seething passions, which resulted in actually
committing murder. It's quite extraordinary. Your life span is great.