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Monday, 29 May 2000
Page: 16403

Mr BEAZLEY (2:16 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Following the huge turnout in support of reconciliation yesterday, will you now allow the House to consider and debate a resolution expressing a national apology for the trauma and suffering endured by indigenous Australians because of past practices, including the removal of children from their parents?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —The Leader of the Opposition asked me about yesterday's turnout. Can I say that it was a very strong demonstration of the commitment of a large number of Australians to the process of reconciliation. For that reason, it was a wholly welcomed thing. On the question of a national apology, the Leader of the Opposition knows the attitude that I have expressed previously on behalf of the government. There was a resolution conveying unanimously the sincere regret of this House in relation to those practices. It was tabled and carried unanimously last year. It remains the view of the government that that is the appropriate parliamentary expression on this issue.