The cynic, or maybe realist, would state that Howard has chosen a very strategic time to announce what appears to be a backflip in policy.
I have grown into the belief that a statement of regret needs to be made to the original inhabitants of this land. There was never a treaty, not even a preposterously unfair one such as the one drafted by the American settlers.
Does this mean the Australian government will be sued? Maybe, maybe not. But there is a basic human right to be respected, noticed and valued as a person made in the image of God. The original inhabitants of this land were at times treated as something less than human.
Maybe the gracious person might suppose that Howard has grown, and wants to leave a legacy. Maybe the public perception has caused him to rethink and reevaluate his previous value. Either way, it appears something will be done in this area, which is a good thing.
I also applaud the leadership being taken in remote indigenous communities. The childrens lives, their safety, their innocence, needs to be protected. Of course this is not only a issue in indigenous society, it is everywhere, and something which makes me very angry. It drives me to do what I do, in the place God has put me.