Gloves off as Mundine brands Brandis a ‘dickhead’ over jail rate probe

Warren Mundine has launched a stinging attack on the government he advises, blasting a new inquiry set up into Indigenous imprisonment rates and belittling the “dickhead” who dreamt up the idea.

In a scathing assessment of the Turnbull Government’s commitment to Indigenous affairs, Mr Mundine said the inquiry – announced by Attorney-General George Brandis this morning – would “have no end” and was “joke”.

Senator Brandis, who has himself been embroiled in a controversy over the resignation of his Solicitor-General, said the Australian Law Reform Commission would examine the “national tragedy” of Indigenous Australians being held behind bars.

But Mr Mundine, the PM’s top Indigenous adviser, said work to highlight the massive overrepresentation of Indigenous prisoners in jail had already been done, telling Sky News that holding another inquiry — rather than acting on the reports that have already been conducted — was a joke and reflective of the poor performance of the Government.

“It’s going to have no end. I actually could tell them what they need to do,” he said.

“I just find this a joke, and I’m getting sick and tired of the crap that is coming out of this Government in regard to Indigenous Affairs.”

But Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion hit back, saying Mr Mundine was “having a bad hair day”.

“I’m going to have to stand close and talk loud to him,” Senator Scullion told ABC local radio in Alice Springs.

“What he said is complete and utter garbage.

“Now, Warren and me are good mates and we like having robust conversations, and I can see we’re going to have one.”

The announcement comes 25 years after the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

WA Labor senator Patrick Dodson, who was one of the commissioners at the time, told a Senate hearing last week there was “appalling” ignorance about the years of lobbying to put the recommendations in place.

Australian Bar Association president Patrick O’Sullivan welcomed the inquiry, describing the rate of Indigenous incarceration as a “national disgrace”.

With ABC Online

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