Political Editor and International Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald Peter Hartcher writing in the Sydney morning “Journey From The Heart” begins with.
Australia has made great strides in recognising its disadvantaged and its minorities, but it cannot be a complete commonwealth until it recognises the most disadvantaged and overlooked of all”.
Our first peoples are humanity’s longest continuing civilisation and confer a unique status on our country, and also a unique responsibility.
Our first peoples two years ago proposed the creation of an Indigenous advisory body to the Parliament. It would be established and legitimised by an amendment to the constitution. (smh 27-May 2019).
The request for a voice was strangled by then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who falsely described it as a “third chamber” of Parliament, implying that it was some sort of danger to the prerogatives of the Parliament.
This was a straw man, a false argument that was really just an excuse for inaction.
The new Parliament that is to convene in the next few weeks has an opportunity to fix this failure. By giving our first peoples a voice, the Parliament would give them their best opportunity to help a united country Close the Gap. Successfully. That is necessary, but insufficient.
Listen to Peter Hartcher Here on Black Star Radio