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WA Coroner calls for strong leadership on Aboriginal deaths in Kimberley

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 25 Feb 2008

"The coronial report into the high rate of Aboriginal deaths in the Kimberley today highlights the clear need for leadership by Commonwealth and State Governments in tackling the appalling living conditions and lack of opportunities for Aboriginal people in the North-West," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"In a state as rich as West Australia it is shameful to think that life is getting worse for our first Australians," she said.

"There is a clear need for greater investment and targeting of resources from both State and Federal Governments in the Kimberley."

Senator Siewert has urged both State and Federal Governments to take an evidence-based policy approach to tackling these issues and to ensure that consultation with Aboriginal communities is front and centre in their efforts.

"We don't want to follow the path taken in the Northern Territory. We need to learn from those mistakes and implement a better planned and more targeted approach," she said.

"There is a very clear need, as identified by the Coroner, for greater accountability for government departments for how public investment is actually reaching the ground in Aboriginal communities. More money needs to be spent on doctors and nurses, teachers, builders and child protection workers," concluded Senator Siewert.

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