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PM seals Indigenous services deal

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 6 April 2005

Prime Minister John Howard and Northern Territory Chief Minister Clare Martin have signed a five-year agreement aimed at improving the delivery of services to Indigenous Australians.

Mr Howard says the historic agreement in Darwin is the first of what he hopes will be one of many between the Commonwealth and the states.

The agreement signed at Parliament House in Darwin highlights five priority areas for improvement, including infrastructure in Aboriginal communities and improving outcomes for young Aboriginal people.

Mr Howard says he believes the greatest thing government can offer Indigenous Australians is a share in the success of the nation.

"This agreement is focused on what I believe Australians overwhelmingly want and that is cooperation between governments, an absence of blame shifting and name-calling and a determination to deliver practical improvements and practical outcomes for Indigenous Australians," he said.

Mr Howard is due to fly to the Aboriginal community of Wadeye, south-west of Darwin, this morning.

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