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Ernie Bridge Remembered

Thursday 4th April / presented by James Hall

Influential former Labor MP Ernie Bridge has died. He was 76.

He was WA's first Aboriginal MP and the first indigenous Cabinet minister in any Australian government.

The well-respected politician was in the process of suing the state government, and companies owned by Australia's two richest women Gina Rinehart and Angela Wright, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

It’s this disease that ended his life.

Mr Bridge said he contracted the disease after being exposed to asbestos during his time as the Minister responsible for withdrawing government services from the town of Wittenoom in the late 80s.

He served the Labor Government as minister for water resources, the North West and Aboriginal affairs.

He also acted as an Independent MP in the last four years of his career.

And along with his role in Australian politics, Mr Bridge is remembered as a stockman, country music performer and a father.

Ernie Bridge’s youngest son Son, Noel is with me this morning…

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