Today we mark the 30th anniversary of the Barunga Statement being presented to Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
We acknowledge that in too many ways, the Parliament has not lived-up to the promises of thirty years ago. We recognise that too few of the Barunga words have become deeds.
But Labor remains committed to the aspirations at the heart of the Barunga statement: self-determination, Aboriginal decision-making, and a reconciled, more equal Australia.
Our party is committed to ensuring the First Australians have a genuine say in the decisions which govern First Nation lives, and is a reality of their lives of honour, equality, respect and recognition.
Labor is committed to working with First Nations on the way forward, including the next generation of First Australian women and girls. We commit to ensuring voices are heard and they are included in decisions which impact their future.
Labor is committed to legislating a Voice for the First Australians and seeking to enshrine that Voice in the Constitution.
Labor is committed to deliver compensation for survivors in all Commonwealth jurisdictions.
Labor is committed to establishing a Makarrata Commission to work with the National Congress, Land Councils, First Nations leaders, State and Territory Governments on a process for truth-telling and agreement-making, including treaties.
One of Bob Hawke’s final acts Prime Minister was to hang the statement on the wall of Commonwealth Parliament, not as an act of symbolism but as a call to action for everyone who feels the injustices inflicted on our First Australians.
The ideas at the core of the Barunga Statement have emerged in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This must be our map now, and our guide on the journey ahead.
Labor’s message to First Nations people is there will be no more decisions about you, without you.
We respect the notion of free, prior and informed consent and will work with First Nations people to make this a reality.