Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is to spend a week in an aboriginal settlement later this year to raise national awareness about the indigenous people’s grim plight.
In parliament, as he announced his trip to the outback, he admitted that Australia is still failing to meet key targets on Aboriginal welfare.
He said: “After 226 years of intermittent interest at most, why shouldn’t Aboriginal people finally have the prime minister’s undivided attention for seven days?”
The country’s 600,000 or so aborigines are deeply disadvantaged, with poorer health and greater social problems than other Australians as well as a lower life expectancy.
Abbott will spend his week in remote East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, where indigenous people are striving to keep their traditional culture alive.