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Comments by Noel Pearson

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister Senator John Herron has refuted comments by Executive Director of Cape York Land Council Noel Pearson, that he had warmly welcomed assimilation policies.

Senator Herron said he had made it clear at the recent launch of Geoffrey Partington's book that he did not endorse the contents, but believed in the value of historical debate.

Yesterday in the Senate, Senator Herron again made his position clear.

"I am not into burning books; I am into promoting knowledge. I believe that books should be read, and they should be discussed and debated."

Senator Herron said he had made it clear on a number of occasions that he did not endorse assimilation policies.

He said he would continue to work with the indigenous community and its leaders to improve conditions for Aboriginal people.

"I look forward to hearing Mr Pearson's address tomorrow."

For further information contact: Samantha Cohen, 0419 692 397