25 March 2011

The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) welcomes and supports the motion that was passed by the Senate yesterday in acknowledgement of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC).

Put forward by Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues, this motion ensures that RCIADIC is firmly back on the political agenda.

In supporting the motion, the Senate formally acknowledged that next month will mark twenty years since the RCIADIC Report was first released in 1991. The Senator drew attention to the continued high incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ongoing deaths in custody and the fact that too many RCIADIC recommendations have still not been fully implemented.

“We acknowledge the efforts of Senator Siewert and other key stakeholders who have listened to the concerns about RCIADIC from agencies such as ALSWA, because this ensures that the needs of our people are heard and not swept under the carpet” said Mr. John Bedford ALSWA Executive Officer/Acting CEO.

In her Notice of Motion Senator Siewert called on the Australian Government to:

  • “Consider the outcomes of current reviews underway into the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission, undertake to report on progress and gaps, and map out further action; and
  • Work with the States and Territories to undertake an audit of standards and independent monitoring of places of detention and consider options to promote consistency across jurisdictions”.

In the lead up to the 20th year since the Report’s release on 15 April 2011, ALSWA will continue to highlight progress that has occurred in the past twenty years, and what still needs to be done.