Indigenous Labor senator Pat Dodson has hit out at Malcolm Turnbull for walking out early from a Closing the Gap event in Parliament House.
Senator Dodson criticised the prime minister for leaving the function, which was hearing about the need to work together with indigenous communities to improve health outcomes and life expectancy before it had finished.
"It's indicative of the deafness, the absolute derision and the contempt which this government is meting out to the Aboriginal people," the senator told reporters afterwards on Thursday.
However, it's understood organisers were aware of Mr Turnbull's schedule and that he would leave at the time he did.
"The prime minister listened to the keynote address and left as scheduled," a spokesman told AAP.