Aborigines In Custody
ABORIGINES IN CUSTODY
The Hon. Dr MEREDITH BURGMANN: I ask my question without notice of the Minister for Health and Community Services, representing the Minister for Justice. Has the Minister seen the recently released figures that show a dramatic increase in the number of Aborigines in custody in New South Wales? Is he aware that Aborigines now make up 9.3 per cent of the New South Wales prison population, although forming 2 per cent of the general population? What is the Government doing to address the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, to tackle what is clearly institutionalised racism?
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: The honourable member has asked an important question. All honourable members and the community are concerned about the disproportionate representation of Aborigines in the State's prisons and the reasons for it. Because of the importance of the question a detailed and considered answer should be provided. I shall get that and provide it to the honourable member as soon as possible.