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Ridgeway misreads community aspiration for reconciliation.



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  Australian Labor Party   National ALP

Bob McMullan - Ridgeway Misreads Community Aspiration For Reconciliation http://www.alp.org.au/media/0301/bmmsar260301.html Thursday, 29 March 2001

Ridgeway Misreads Community Aspiration For Reconciliation Bob McMullan - Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Reconciliation

Media Statement - 26 March 2001

Democrat Spokesperson for Reconciliation, Senator Ridgeway, has misread the community if he believes the majority of Australians are not supportive of Reconciliation, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Reconciliation, Bob McMullan, said today.

A speech by Senator Ridgeway, to be delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, was quoted in the media today.

"When a Nation is failing to address an issue it is no use to blame the people, it is usually time to suspect a failure of national leadership," Mr McMullan said.

"In Australia today, the biggest stumbling block on the road to Reconciliation is not a lack of community support but a Prime Minister who is not prepared to show leadership on the issue.

"John Howard has effectively put his finger on the National pause button in relation to Reconciliation.

"The majority of Australians want the Prime Minister to say 'sorry' to the Stolen Generation on behalf of the Nation - John Howard stubbornly refuses.

"John Howard is out of touch with the desire of most Australians for him to 'get on with it' and work towards a lasting Reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.

"The fact is that it will take a new Prime Minister to take the finger off the 'pause button' in relation to Reconciliation," Mr McMullan said.

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Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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