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Sydney Harbour Bridge to fly Aboriginal flag permanently by end of year | Indigenous Australians

The Aboriginal flag will have a permanent spot on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with the New South Wales government committing $25m to install a third flagpole by the end of the year.

Flying the Aboriginal flag alongside the Australian and NSW state flags was an important gesture towards closing the gap, the state premier, Dominic Perrottet, said about the 2022-23 budget announcement.

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“Our Indigenous history should be celebrated and acknowledged so young Australians understand the rich and enduring culture that we have here with our past,” Perrottet said on Sunday.

“Installing the Aboriginal flag permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge will do just that and is a continuation of the healing process as part of the broader move towards reconciliation.”

The flagpoles are about 20 metres high, the same as a six-storey building, and the flags require an attachment strong enough to withstand all weather conditions.

Transport for NSW and Aboriginal Affairs will engage with key Aboriginal stakeholders about the project.

The flag has been flown above the bridge on 26 January, in place of the NSW flag.

When Perrottet first announced the plan in February, he said he had been told it could take as long as two years to build the third flagpole, a timeframe he said was too long. He said he would “climb up there and and put it up myself if I need to”.

Meanwhile, the state government has also committed $37.9m to improve before- and after-school care services and $206m towards a sustainable farming program.

The NSW treasurer, Matt Kean, said the landmark program would reward farmers who voluntarily reduce their carbon emissions and protect biodiversity.

The Perrotet government is due to hand down its 2022-23 budget this week.

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