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WA Premier to meet Aboriginal leaders over boy's death

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 26 August 2003


West Australian Aboriginal leaders want today's meeting with Premier Geoff Gallop to solve long-running issues between the Nyoongah community and the Government.

The Premier called the meeting with Aboriginal leaders after the death of a 12-year-old boy allegedly involved in a high-speed chase with police.

Dr Gallop was later criticised when he urged Aboriginal leaders to stop making excuses for out-of-control behaviour by Nyoongah children.

Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Dennis Eggington, says relations between the community and the Government are at a low ebb.

Mr Eggington says this could change if real progress is made at today's meeting.

"If it's a very genuine meeting and the Premier and the state want advice from Aboriginal people, then he is in a good forum for that," Mr Eggington said.

One Aboriginal group is furious it has not been invited to the meeting.

Iva Heyward Jackson from the Nyungah Circle of Elders says the Government is ignoring the views of a large section of the community by not including it in the discussions.

"It appears the Premier is having a meeting with handpicked Aboriginal people," Mr Jackson said.

"How does he think he is going to solve problems without speaking directly to the elder concerned."


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