One mistake too many for Aboriginal Affairs Minister

Thursday, 8 September

WA Greens Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC has labelled comments today on the concept of a treaty, or treaties, with Aboriginal people as ‘old-fashioned’.

“To use his own words, I am appalled former Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott continue to use such divisive language when speaking on the rights of Aboriginal people,” Mr Chapple said.

“Neither Mr Howard nor Mr Abbott speak for Aboriginal people, nor do they get to decide what Aboriginal people want.

“Such strident rejection of the concept of a treaty, before it has even been floated properly in the public arena, and knowing full well it is an aspiration of many Aboriginal elders, leaders and communities across Australia is a national disgrace.

“Australia is the international exception; the only Commonwealth nation that does not have a treaty recognising that Aboriginal people have at no time ceded any part of their sovereign existence and status.

“As a nation we must change our lingering, and damaging, paternalistic attitudes and accept that first and foremost policy direction in this space must come from Aboriginal people.”

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