Back to All News

Senate supports urgent action on First Nations Peoples deaths in custody

The Senate has today supported the Greens motion calling for the Government to take urgent action to address the shameful rates of First Nations Peoples deaths in custody since the Royal Commission.

“It is appalling that we haven’t had comprehensive monitoring of deaths in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.

“This issue is not being addressed with the urgency required. 

“Over 407 First Nations Peoples have died in custody since the Royal Commission yet it is business as usual for State, Territory and Federal Governments.

“State and Federal Governments have failed to take meaningful action. Every state Government needs to make this issue a priority.  There have been 43 deaths in custody in WA in the last ten years, the highest in Australia.

“The Greens are calling on Mr Morrison to show leadership and call an urgent meeting with the States and Territories to develop and commit to an action plan on how the States, Territories and Commonwealth will address deaths in custody and the high rates of Aboriginal incarceration.”

 

 The motion reads:

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move –

That the Senate –

(a)          acknowledges the Guardian Australia’s “Deaths Inside” database, released in August and their reporting on First Nations peoples deaths in custody;

(b)          expresses deep concern that there has been no comprehensive monitoring of deaths in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody;

(c)           is horrified that there have been 407 deaths of First Nations peoples in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody almost 30 years ago and that in the last 10 years, 147 First Nations peoples have died in custody and more than half of those who died had not been convicted of a crime;

(d)          urges the Federal Government to release any reports relating to the implementation of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and make it a priority to implement the outstanding recommendations; and

(e)          calls on the Federal Government to show leadership and call an urgent meeting with the States and Territories to develop and commit to an action plan on how the States, Territories and Commonwealth will address deaths in custody and the high rates of Aboriginal incarceration.

 

 

Media Contact
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418 401 180 
         

Back to All News