Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
I, and also on behalf of Senator Dodson, move:
That the Senate—
(b) further notes that the 339 recommendations from the Royal Commission have still not been fully implemented;
(c) expresses its dismay that since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody there have been over 455 deaths of First Nations people in custody; and
(d) calls on:
(i) the Prime Minister to meet with the families left behind after a death in custody on the date of the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission's report being handed down, and
(ii) the Government to commit to implementing all of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in partnership with First Nations communities, particularly the family members who have been left behind after a death in custody.
Every death in custody is a tragedy. As the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody found, the fundamental issue is that too many Aboriginal people are in custody too often. An independent review of the RCIADIC recommendations conducted in 2017 found that the Australian government had fully or mostly implemented 91 per cent of recommendations for which it had responsibility. The Morrison government is committed to working with the states and territories, who have responsibility for their justice systems, and communities through initiatives such as the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The government does not support parts (d) and (e) of the motion.