Government rules out indigenous part in Royal Commission

THE Federal Government has ruled out Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's call for the Royal Commission into abuse in the North Territory juvenile detention system to include two indigenous co-commissioners.

Mr Shorten made the suggestion during a meeting with indigenous leaders in Darwin on Saturday, following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's decision last week to appoint former NT chief justice Brian Martin to lead the inquiry.

"I believe it would be appropriate for the Royal Commission to have two co-commissioners who are Aboriginal Australians, strong people, men and women who can make sure the voices and the experiences of Aboriginal Australians are given full justice in this Royal Com- mission," Mr Shorten said.

Special Minister of State Scott Ryan said the Coalition would not be acting on Mr Shorten's proposal.

"The government has appointed Brian Martin and we are keen that this Royal Commission get under way very quickly, that's why it's so targeted," Senator Ryan told Sky News.

The Royal Commission was sparked by footage, aired on Four Corners, of abuse in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin aired.

Rallies were held on Saturday in capital cities around the country to condemn the treatment of youth detainees.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion apologised for not being aware of the full circumstances of abuse of young people in Darwin's youth detention centre.


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