LG leadership in reconcilitation

Delegates from around Australia attended the Indigenous Issues Briefing staged in Canberra prior to the National General Assembly. The Indigenous Issues Briefing has become an annual forerunner to the National Assembly.

It provides the opportunity for local Councils to discuss issues and opportunities to improve the planning, coordination and delivery of services to Indigenous communities.

ALGA President, Councillor John Campbell, said that many Councils share a vision for reconciliation and have entered into agreements and commitments with their local Indigenous peoples.

"At the 1997 General Assembly, 750 Local Government representatives unanimously endorsed a statement of regret in response to the Stolen Generation Report," Councillor Campbell said.

"Over the past year Local Government has led the way in seeking to bring about understanding of Native Title in local communities through an innovative and widespread public information and education program centred on developing local agreements.

Participants in this forum emphasised that the key issues for Local Government and Indigenous communities are the rights of Indigenous Australians to social justice and equity in service delivery and recognition of original traditional ownership.

"Local Government must focus on these issues and reconciliation over the next year," John Campbell said.

"We look forward to strengthening partnerships and working with Indigenous Australians in a spirit of acknowledgment, unity and commitment to a better Australia for all its citizens."