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Senate debates Aboriginal deaths in custody

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 1 December 2004

The issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody has been debated in the Senate.

Democrats Senator Aden Ridgeway, the only Aboriginal member of the Federal Parliament, called for the debate after the death 11 days ago of a 36-year-old Aborigine in police custody on Palm Island in north Queensland.

Senator Ridgeway says there needs to be greater leadership from the Federal Government and recommendations of the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody must be enforced.

"In '91 we spent enormous amounts of money to have a royal commission to address these issues, to deal with the 99 deaths that occurred in the preceding decade," he said.

"Yet since that time the 339 recommendations and the number of deaths have continued to increase."

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