Bill Shorten says jail should not be a rite of passage for Aboriginal boys

There are concerns a probe into abuses in Northern Territory youth detention could stall before it even gets off the ground.

Royal Commission head Brian Martin is reportedly reconsidering his role, after it was revealed his daughter served as a government advisor during the concerned period.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten meantime, has called for the Commission to also examine why there are so many young Aboriginal Australians in prison.


“None of this is going to be effective if we just look at how kids are treated in detention,” Mr Shorten said.

“We’ve also got to have a discussion; why are so many Aboriginal kids ending up in detention?

“I don’t accept that there is a wave of criminality amongst one portion of our population.”

The Opposition leader said he does not believe jail should be seen as a rite of passage among young indigenous men, and simply slapping them into jail is nothing more than laziness.