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Mundine calls for Frank Sartor to step down - 20 September 2005

Aboriginal Housing Company Media Statement

Michael Mundine CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Company has publicly called for Frank Sartor to stand down, at the very least, as Minister for Redfern Waterloo.


After Frank Sartor’s racial slur targeting Mr. Mundine on Koori radio yesterday Michael Mundine showed strong Aboriginal leadership by accepting Minister Sartor’s apology on a personal level, but not his explanation that it was simply friendly banter.


“Despite the Minister’s repeated attempts to publicly portray our relationship as chummy I want to set the record straight that Mr. Sartor and I met 18 years ago while he was campaigning for a position in Sydney City Council, he used that meeting for a photo opportunity and I never saw him again, until the beginning of this year. Needless to say we have no relationship”.


“On a personal level I hold no grudge against the man. Aboriginal people are very compassionate and forgiving, and I believe hate should not be answered with more hate. As an Aboriginal leader fighting for justice I chose to accept Mr. Sartor’s apology because Redfern has seen enough hatred to last many lifetimes” said Michael Mundine.


The Minister’s position in Redfern has been seriously compromised and his ability to work with the Redfern Aboriginal community is no longer tenable.


“I have slept on this issue and I think Redfern can not move forward if Mr. Sartor is still in charge. The Minister’s uncompromising attitude has already held up the progress of our Project for six long months. We can kick start the progress again if Mr. Sartor stands aside. This area has a lot of social and human issues that need a people person to help solve them” said Mr. Mundine.


“Mr. Sartor’s personality just doesn’t suit this area and his stand over approach may be better suited to another portfolio” said Mr. Mundine.


If the NSW Government wishes to repair their tattered relationship with Redfern’s Aboriginal community they will have to do it through another emissary, one with more respect.


For further information contact: Peter Valilis