Christensen calls for a national apology for blackbirding

FEDERAL Member for Dawson, George Christensen, has called for a national apology for the practice of blackbirding and the subsequent treatment of South Islander workers in Australia.

Speaking at a Mackay family day to commemorate 150 years of the South Sea Islander community in Australia yesterday, Mr Christensen said it was time for more than just recognition as a demographic group.

"We need acknowledgement of what happened, to get it into the history books, in our classrooms and to apologise for the mistakes that were made," he said.