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Latham pledges to end Indigenous inequality

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 24 February 2004


Federal Opposition leader Mark Latham has promised a Labor government would give Indigenous issues huge priority.

Mr Latham has visited eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory where he witnessed first-hand the conditions at one remote Aboriginal community Yirrkala.

The community has high unemployment, low school attendance rates and serious substance abuse problems.

He visited the Yirrkala school and told teachers he wants to be remembered as the education Prime Minister.

Mr Latham promised Labor's support for Aboriginal schools but says there is still a way to go to resolve the vast inequalities between Indigenous and other Australians.

He said Labor is committed to ending disadvantage amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

"In the Labor party we don't rest easy until we've ended disadvantage across the board and obviously doing it in Indigenous communities is a huge priority for us," he said.

"So it just confirms the need to get our policies right - we're working hard on them now and we'll have initiatives for Indigenous communities in the Territory, as we will around the country."


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