COMMITTEES - Finance and Public Administration References Committee - Reference

I note the notice of motion that Senator Lambie has put forward. I fully comprehend the issues that the motion seeks to address, but I cannot support it in its current form. The history in this country of identification and definition of who is and who is not an Aboriginal has been a vexed and challenging issue for our people for many generations. In my state of Western Australia, the authority to define and identify who was an Aboriginal led to binding laws that said who could marry whom, who could live with whom and how much a person should be paid for work.

There have been many people who identify in their families as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and who are known in their community as being Aboriginal, but who have not been endorsed by the authorities as being Aboriginal. Families have been separated on this basis. Children have been taken from their mothers on this basis as well. In its current form, the motion prejudges the inquiry and is overly inflammatory— (Time expired)

Stay up to date by subscribing to my newsletter.