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Christine Milne responds to Warren Mundine on ABC News Radio

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Christine Milne 12 Jul 2012

Senator Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens, spoke this morning to ABC News Radio, responding to former ALP president Warren Mundine's call that the Greens had not done enough for Aboriginal people.

Some of the interview is transcribed below. Follow the link at the bottom for the full audio.

"Mr Mundine is speaking more as a former president of the Labor party engaged in this ridiculous Labor party attack on their own voter base - which doesn't support the Northern Territory intervention and doesn't support it being extended for another 10 years, as Mr Mundine and Labor and the Liberals do.

"The Greens have argued always for improved rights for Aboriginal people and it was Rachel Siewert's legislation that has got the reversal of the onus of proof when it comes to Native Title and that is exactly what aboriginal people want - and it's what the Coalition and the government will not do.

"The expanded access of Aboriginal people to go beyond Native Title to non-exclusive Native Title holders, has meant there will be a huge amount of money and jobs going right through Aboriginal communities, particularly remote communities.

"The Greens have always supported what Aboriginal people want in their communities. [This includes] a massive investment in education and training.

"In the most recent legislation, the so-called Stronger Futures, we backed more going into the education of Aboriginal people in their own languages - that's always been a key element in Greens policies and it has not been supported by the Government or the Coalition

 "It's a gift to Tony Abbott if Mr Mundine is saying that he would prefer putting Coalition people in the senate, to give them support of the senate, to extend the Northern Territory intervention as we've already seen, and to absolutely undermine any prospect of reversal of the onus of proof of connection with aboriginal land.

"Which is exactly what aboriginal people want, it's exactly what the Greens are putting forward, and it's exactly what preferencing  Tony Abbott as Mr Mundine would like to do, will make sure doesn't happen.

"The Labor party is obviously shooting itself in the foot again, just at a time when Tony Abbott is on the back foot on carbon pricing, he's on the back foot over his inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, the Labor party decide to engage in an internal brawl to undermine their own leadership.

"All they're doing is destroying their own voter base.

In the seat of Melbourne we are working hard with public transport, with energy efficiency programs and lots of positive engagement including returning a lot of the planning powers to local councils whereas the Labor party are preferencing Family First - the far right.

"It's absolutely about politics, it's absolutely about the New South Wales right, it's about their attack on their own voter base.

 "It's all about the politics here and not about getting good outcomes for the community."


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