The National Party will not support the Indigenous Voice in Parliament, arguing that it will do little to help First Nations people.
Nationals leader David Littleproud declared the regional party’s position alongside Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Price at Parliament House on Monday.
Littleproud said his party spoke to indigenous leaders and claimed Voice would not help bridge the gap between First Nations and white Australians.
“We believe in empowering local indigenous communities, giving them power at the local level, not creating another layer of bureaucracy here in Canberra,” he said.
‘This is not a voice for remote, rural and regional Australians. This is one for those who live in Redfern, they will be fine.
David Littleproud declared that the National Party would not support the Indigenous Voice in Parliament by standing with Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Price at Parliament House.
“But just think of those indigenous Australians living in Central Australia. They’re not going to have a say in this, they’re going to have another layer of bureaucracy that won’t turn the dial on the legacy we can leave behind.’
Littleproud said that instead, he wanted to give rural indigenous communities the opportunities they enjoyed every day in the cities.
Senator Price slammed Indigenous Australian minister Linda Burney for visiting remote communities “dripping Gucci” and telling them “what they need”.
‘We have to stop dividing this nation along racial lines. We will not support a failed model,’ he said.
‘It is not racist to disagree with a proposal… that lacks details and divides us along racial lines.
“Yes, there is goodwill, there is immense goodwill from Indigenous Australians in this country… what we need now are practical steps, not an idea that lacks complete and utter detail and is based on emotional blackmail.”
Senator Price criticized Australian indigenous minister Linda Burney for visiting remote communities “dripping Gucci” and telling them “what they need”.
The Nationals, as a party, will not actively oppose Voice and will instead let individual MPs represent their constituents.
jacinta [Price] will take a national position and profile by articulating a case. I will make sure that my community, as I have called many and tragically, some of them don’t even know what the Voice is,” Littleproud said.
“We’re so far down the road and the Traditional Owners in West Queensland, some of them have no idea, it doesn’t mean anything to them, it won’t help them.”
Senator Price said she hoped Australians would vote against a referendum to establish the Voice if it were called.
“This Voice model is about empowering elites to demand a transfer of power, and nothing more than that,” he said.
“This Voice model is not recognition, let’s not confuse the two here, this is a complete bureaucratic country that we have no details about.”
Senator Price said that she and other national parliamentarians spoke to indigenous communities about Voice and stated that they “did not want any more division” in Australia.
‘We are part of a liberal democratic Australia. And one of our fundamental principles is that we are all considered equal before the law. Despite race, despite gender, despite anything else,” he said.
‘Why should I, as a Indigenous Australian, be governed by a separate entity from the rest of Australia because of my race?’
The Indigenous Voice, as proposed, is a strictly advisory body that provides information and advocacy to all levels of government, and does not do any “government.”
Senator Price said she spoke to Indigenous Australians in her Northern Territory constituency, many of whom did not speak English as their first language, and found that many were unfamiliar with Voice.
‘[They] they are living their day to day worrying about how they are not going to encounter violence in their lives,’ he said.
‘Worried about how they’re going to manage their affairs without being tricked by their relatives who are dealing with alcohol and substance abuse, worried about making sure their children actually go to school because now their remote communities are dominated by violence fueled for alcohol. .
‘These are the issues people are concerned about now that they don’t sit around waiting for a proposal to come up with details on how it’s going to improve their lives.
“We are here to serve Australian citizens of all origins and it is not right to divide us based on race, especially within our Australian founding document.”
More to come.