Around 100 community members gathered at the Mingaletta Local Aboriginal Corporation in Umina on Monday, August 21, to listen to Ms Linda Burney speak about constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Mr Burney is the fi rst Aboriginal woman to be elected to the House of Representatives. She said the Labor Opposition had written to the Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, requesting that he form a joint parliamentary committee to look at the timing and wording of the referendum question on constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. “The Prime Minister has written back not agreeing,” she said. “Labor is committed to a referendum, a Makarrata Commission and truth telling as well as constitutional recognition and amending the race powers,” she said. “The race powers mean the Federal Government can make laws pertaining to any race of people and it doesn’t say those laws should be advantageous to those people,” she said. The gathering was also addressed by Mr David Harris, NSW Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, and by Mr Zachary Warren and Ms Joelleen Doyle from Labor for Treaty. Mr Harris said he was developing the policy that Labor would take to the 2019 state election and that the Victorian state government had demonstrated that there was a pathway for non-indigenous Australia to form treaties with the fi rst nations. “Constitutional recognition is important but there is a long-held need for treaty,” he said. Mr Zachary Warren from Labor for Treaty said the new organisation marked the fi rst time that treaty had been on the Labor Party’s agenda since 1988. The event was organised by Mingaletta and Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.
SOURCE: Meeting, 21 Aug 2017 Reporter: Jackie Pearson