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Parties called on to address Aboriginal issues

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 15 February 2005

The head of the Aboriginal Legal Service says he is disgusted with the two main political parties in Western Australia, for ignoring Aboriginal issues during the election campaign.

Dennis Eggington says the way Aboriginal issues have been overlooked has been an absolute disgrace.

He says his criticism applies equally to Labor and the Liberal Party.

"I certainly think that Government are staying right away from Aboriginal issues, Indigenous issues because they know there's no votes in it, unless of course they're talking in punitive measures against young Aboriginal people and cleaning up the streets," he said.

"The Aboriginal community's integrity has suffered considerably by the way that politicians and governments have used us as a way of building fear into the community."

Mr Eggington says neither side will talk about Aboriginal issues, for fear of losing votes.

He has called on both parties to announce positive policies on improving Aboriginal health, social disadvantage and reconciliation before polling day.

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