Mr. Shorten today said all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, are becoming increasingly cynical about constitutional recognition for indigenous Australians.
The Opposition leader said that the challenge now for Australia is that Australia has had many opportunities in its history of Australia, but Australia hasn’t closed the deal in ensuring that Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent are treated equally.
“It is wrong that our little precious babies in their first few months of life, if they’re Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, are less likely to survive. It is wrong that an Aboriginal male of the age of 18 is more likely to go to jail than to go to university,” commented the Opposition leader.
Mr. Shorten also said that it is not right that the unemployment levels amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are so high.
Mr. Shorten said that the cynicism that needs to be tackled involves not just looking at the Constitution, but taking the process of constitutional recognition to form a post-recognition settlement with first Australians.
“…the Parliament of Australia is also accountable to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” commented Mr. Shorten.