Thursday, August 21, 2003


Geoff Gallop is a Labor Party leader -- representing Australia’s main Left-leaning party -- but he has just put reality ahead of PC:

IN a direct challenge to indigenous Australia, West Australian Premier Geoff Gallop warned Aboriginal leaders and parents to "get real" and shake off a culture of denial in which events in the nation's history were blamed for their children's bad behaviour.

The even-mannered leader turned angry yesterday as Aboriginal leaders and families blamed anti-social behaviour among indigenous youth on historic dispossession, after a stolen car crashed and rolled on a Perth highway on Monday, killing Carl Morrison, a 12-year-old Aboriginal joy-rider.

As indigenous leaders accused the Premier of inciting racism, Dr Gallop said the issue of anti-social behaviour by indigenous children was a national priority. Dr Gallop said indigenous child abuse and protection issues would be high on the agenda when the Prime Minister and premiers meet at the Council of Australian Governments later this month.

"We want all of the states and territories working towards common new solutions. And you're not going to get new solutions while people have blinkers as to what the problems are. Let's deal with the issues honestly and openly instead of trying to pretend there are some historical reasons that justify this behaviour." Dr Gallop also defended police for chasing the stolen car, and called for Aborigines to take responsibility for their children.

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