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February 13, 2014
Tony Abbott has delivered the most powerful, heartfelt and gracious speech of his short prime ministership, crediting political opponent Paul Keating with responsibility for his ”watershed moment” on Aboriginal Australia.
Committing himself to ending ”the tyranny of low expectations” in indigenous affairs, he has also vowed to bring new urgency and horsepower to the task of closing the gap on disadvantage.
He has also declared that his government is as serious about Aboriginal policy as it is about ”stopping the boats, fixing the budget, and building the roads of the 21st century”.
The speech was hailed as a potential defining moment in Australia’s long march to reconciliation by three veterans of indigenous policy: Senior Australian of the Year Fred Chaney, indigenous leader Warren Mundine and prominent academic Marcia Langton.