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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2477 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

(c) a National Strategy to Promote Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights; and

(d) a National Strategy to Sustain the Reconciliation Process.

(3) notes that the consultation process will culminate in May 2000 with an event organised by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation to launch its final proposals for a national document for reconciliation;

(4) commends the consultation process and calls on all Members to actively encourage all residents (including schools, businesses, community organisations and groups) to participate in the consultation process;

(5) considers that a successful May 2000 reconciliation event attracting broad community participation and support will make a significant contribution to advancing national reconciliation; and

(6) congratulates the Council on its initiative.

Mr Speaker, on the last day of the recent National Reconciliation Week the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, CAR, launched the draft document for reconciliation, a document which aims to encourage nationwide discussion on this issue by all Australians. The document is comprised of a draft declaration and four national strategies which address economic independence, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, the promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and sustaining the reconciliation process.

None of the strategies in that document come as a surprise. We are all aware that greater economic independence leads to self-reliance and empowerment; that there is a need to improve social and economic conditions and broaden opportunities for indigenous Australians; that to do this will require practical steps; and that reconciliation is an ongoing process that can only be sustained through the ongoing goodwill and commitment of the majority of Australians. However, the publication of the draft document for reconciliation provides us with an opportunity to focus on what is still required to advance reconciliation and to allow it to become a living reality.

I can understand that we may not all agree on every issue, and that there are areas that are open to debate, but it seems to me the majority of issues outlined in this paper are fundamental to the success of reconciliation and deserve our wholehearted support. And

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