A study has found Aboriginal health, education
and job prospects declined during the first five years of the Howard
The study of census data compared the current government
with the previous Labor government's performance.
The Centre for
Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University found
from 1991 to 1996 there were improvements for Aboriginal people
in employment, home ownership, education and health.
But the report's
author, Professor Jon Altman, says there was a negative outcome
after the Howard Government took office and 'practical' reconciliation
"Adult median income declined, full time jobs
for Indigenous people declined, labour force population declined
relative to non-Indigenous people," he said.
He suggests there
needs to be a change of emphasis.
"You can't get improvement just by focusing
on the practical."
He says Government policies must take into
account the social, cultural and spiritual needs of Indigenous people.
Bob McMullan says the Government's approach is not working.
"Let me give one example. After cuts the Government
made to education funding, the policies they're proposing now means
the number of Indigenous teachers being trained in Australia has
fallen by 33 per cent in the last five years," he said.