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Pearson gives cautious support for shared responsibility

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 11 December 2004

A leading Indigenous affairs advovate says "shared responsibility" agreements between Aboriginal communities and the Federal Government have to be carefully designed.

The Government has offered to provide petrol bowsers to the remote Aboriginal community of Mulan in Western Australia if it agrees to a range of conditions, such as ensuring children shower every day.

Cape York leader Noel Pearson says the concept of mutual obligation is good, as long as the incentives do not trivialise the deal.

"One of the questions that I always think needs to be asked is what is it that normal families and parents should be expected to do?" he said.

"The business of tackling tracoma through better child hygiene, that's an obligation owed by the parents to the children."

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