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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 300 ..

MR RATTENBURY: We are seeking to work together to solve these important issues because they go beyond snide remarks in the chamber.

Members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Pettersson): The member will be heard in silence.

MR RATTENBURY: They actually go to really important social issues.

Members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Members! Mrs Jones! Mr Rattenbury.

MR RATTENBURY: This is about getting the best possible outcomes. My particular responsibility in this, as the Attorney-General, will be to take on working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to proceed with the review into over-representation that was committed to by the previous Attorney-General just before we went into caretaker mode.

The way I intend to proceed with this is, over the near future, to start to meet with members of the community informally to get some guidance so that we design this in the right way, to look at how much of previous inquiries warrants further work, and also get to community input into how we put a process together that gets the best possible outcomes.

I do not have a predetermined view on what it is going to look like. We have a direction. Minister Stephen-Smith and I have discussed this in light of the commitment she and the former attorney made late last term. We have some ideas, but we are keen to get community input into what that looks like, how we structure it and who should be involved. Those are the consultations we will be undertaking in the first part of this year. I look forward to reporting back to the Assembly in September 2021 on the progress of that work.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (11.18): I rise to speak in support of Minister Gentleman’s amendment, but in doing so I want to thank Mrs Kikkert for bringing forward this motion today, in her new role as the Canberra Liberals spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. This is a very important issue and I welcome the opportunity to discuss it in the Assembly.

The motion acknowledges, as does the amendment, that institutional racism exists across our society, and I think that is important. Institutional racism does not necessarily manifest in overt individual acts of racism but as a fundamental inequality of systems and processes. Institutional racism is the subtle undercurrent that defines every instance where our laws, bureaucracies and institutions fail to deliver equal outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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