This morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed his true colours on constitutional recognition of First Nations people, by unambiguously rejecting a Voice to the Parliament.
Like his predecessors Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison has turned his back on substantive recognition – and the Indigenous leadership who called for a Voice at Uluru.
His repeated claims that the Voice would be a ‘third chamber’ of the Parliament shows he just doesn’t get it.
Astonishingly, he claimed that ‘all proposals will be treated with respect.’
That is, aside from proposals put forward by First Nations people themselves, contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart – where First Nations people called for a Voice TO the Parliament, and a Makarrata Commission to oversee truth telling and agreement making.
Labor is deeply disappointed in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approach, but not surprised.
After all, this is the same government that repeatedly and disrespectfully dismisses and mischaracterises the aspirations of First Nations people.
And it is the same government that cut $500 million from Indigenous Affairs in their first budget and forced the closure of remote communities in WA.
And in a further insult, Scott Morrison has appointed Tony Abbott as ‘special envoy’ on Indigenous Affairs, a decision widely criticised by First Nations leaders.
Only Labor is committed to meaningful recognition and reconciliation through a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament and a national process of truth-telling and agreement-making.
Labor is determined to give First Nations people a say in the matters that affect them.
First Nations people don’t need Tony Abbott’s voice to parliament – they need their own.