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PM at odds with Mundine over inquiry

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016

Malcolm Turnbull says his own indigenous advisor Warren Mundine is wrong to suggest a fresh review into indigenous incarceration is a joke.

Mr Mundine described Thursday's announcement by Attorney-General George Brandis as a joke and a waste of money, claiming it was thought up by a "dickhead".

When asked by Neil Mitchell on 3AW radio, if Senator Brandis was a "dickhead", Mr Turnbull did not respond but said while about three per cent of Australians identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders they represent 25 per cent of the prison population.

That was an enormous, complex problem, he said foreshadowing taking recommendations from a report on the issue to a COAG meeting with state and territory leaders later in the year.

"I don't want to buy into an argument with Warren but there are no silver bullets here," Mr Turnbull said, noting the Australian Law Reform Commission review had been welcomed by just about everyone except for Mr Mundine.

"On this occasion he may be wrong and he should reflect on that," he said.

Ken Wyatt, the House of Representatives' first indigenous member, told ABC radio the review was important because it would look at legislation and practices that have "crept" in since the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody 25 years ago and have resulted in an increase in incarceration rates.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the government was working in a bipartisan way to ensure better outcomes for indigenous Australians.

"There's no lack of goodwill or commitment, we've just got to get the right outcomes," he told reporters in Sydney.

"The way we solve this will be by making sure we all try and stay on the same page going forward."

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