August 09, 2018

On International Day of World Indigenous Peoples, Labor stands with First Nations people in recognising their unique status as the First People of this nation.
It is time this was recognised within our political structures, and within our Constitution.

Labor is determined to give First Nations people a say in the matters that affect them – including through a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament.

Labor is committed to writing the wrongs of the past and will push forward a Makarrata commission to oversee truth-telling and agreement-making.

The days of procrastination and delay in the true recognition of First Nations people and according them their inherent rights should be behind us. 

We have seen examples from other countries, where First Nations people have been recognised within the political apparatus and give advice to their Parliament, to ensure better outcomes are delivered for First Nations peoples.

It is time Australia took this step.

This International Day of World Indigenous People – Labor honours the voice of the people who have called for a Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata commission to oversee truth-telling and agreement-making.

In the wake of this year’s Garma festival, the Prime Minister has reiterated his opposition to a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

More than a year after the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Final Report of the Referendum Council, the overwhelming evidence of Joint Select Committee is that First Nation’s people want a Voice, and a more meaningful say in the issues that impact their lives, including at the regional and local level.

These calls are in accordance with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People - which Australia has agreed to but is yet to enact. 

It is time for the Turnbull Government to recognise that many Australians  want to see fairness and justice for First Nations people and respect their calls for a Voice to Parliament and a national process of truth-telling and agreement making. Labor will continue to work through the Joint Select Committee to build consensus on this issue.

Labor is committed to the challenge, the journey, the dialogue and the negotiation that is required for us to achieve these objectives which are essential if we are to unite behind a reconciled Australia.