Aboriginal primacy bill introduced to the New South Wales legislative assembly

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kristina Keneally.

Premier of New South Wales (NSW) Kristina Keneally introduced a bill earlier today to the state's legislative assembly that will recognise Indigenous Australians as the first inhabitants of the state.

The bill, which is mostly symbolic, is set to address some "fundamental truths" and is hoped by some to be another step towards ending inequality and disadvantage in the indigenous community.

"People here [Indigenous audience members]...born prior to 1967 were people who fought wars for this nation, who died for this nation, who worked for this country, who died for this country and yet were non-citizens," Keneally stated as the bill was introduced, "This is a significant constitutional step in the right direction, I'm only hopeful it will not be the only step".

Cquote1.svg This is a significant constitutional step in the right direction, I'm only hopeful it will not be the only step. Cquote2.svg

—Kristina Keneally, New South Wales Premier

Although Opposition Leader of NSW Barry O'Farrell made statements in support of the bill, he too stressed the importance of improving conditions for the Indigenous people of the state and across the nation.

"There can be no equality of citizenship without equality of opportunity, there can be no equality of opportunity until those of the Aboriginal community have the same life choices and life expectancies as the rest of the community" O'Farrell said.

The bill's introduction took place after a traditional smoking ceremony attended by MPs from both sides of parliament and James Spigelman, the Lieutenant Governor of NSW.


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