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McMullan welcomes Commissioner's support.

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Media Release



TELEPHONE: (02) 6247 4396 ã FACSIMILE: (02) 6247 3457

3 April 2006


Bob McMullan, Member for Fraser, has welcomed the support for his campaign for setting specific goals to overcome indigenous inequality reflected in the reports launched last week by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Tom Calma.

“In these reports the Commissioner challenges Australian governments to address longstanding health injustices for indigenous people in Australia.

“Commissioner Calma says that indigenous people still do not have equal access to primary health care or good infrastructure such as safe water and proper housing and that the many programs funded over the last 20 years have failed to make any improvements.

“The Commissioner advocates setting a goal of achieving equality of health status and life expectation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous people within 25 years. He says: The goal of health equality and equality of opportunity should be supported by targets

and benchmarks over the short and medium term, which should be negotiated, with the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and committed to by all Australian governments.

“In my Progressive Essay, The case for establishing Australian indigenous development goals, ( launched on 15 September last year, I advocated that, based on experience from the international development debate, Australia should also move from inputs and processes to goals and targets. In my Essay I proposed six goals and 16 targets - all achievable and designed to bring about real improvements.

“In my Essay I also said that I hoped that Australia would move quickly on agreement for the need for the goals and set up a process for establishing them which would be seen by all concerned as legitimate.

“Commissioner Calma has taken the first step”.

Contact: Margaret Watt - (02) 6247 4396 or 0438 271 749