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April 20, 2014

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Australian PM to spend a week on Aboriginal land

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 | 7:36 p.m.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will spend a week in an Outback Aboriginal settlement to focus national attention on the bleak plight of indigenous people.

Abbott announced his trip to remote East Arnhem Land, to be made sometime later this year, in a speech to Parliament on Wednesday. He also delivered the government's annual update on the state of Aboriginal affairs, which he said showed Australia was not on track to achieve important targets in closing the gap between living standards of Aborigines and the rest of Australia.

He says his visit to Aboriginal land will make it "the focus of our national government."

The impoverished circumstances of many Aborigines, who live in Third World conditions, is widely regarded as Australia's greatest blight.