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Greens urge Colin Barnett to engage on Constitutional Recognition

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 13 Nov 2014

The Australian Greens have urged Colin Barnett to fully engage and support recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in both the State and Australian Constitutions.

"I encourage the Premier to re-think his position on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal people in Western Australia as a precursor to recognition in the Australian Constitution. It would be a good way of engaging Western Australians in the issue," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said today.

"I think it is a mistake to wait for the Australian Constitution to be changed before the Premier is willing to deal with WA's. The unwillingness to consider recognition in WA may send a negative message on recognition. We have seen other states change their constitutions already, so why can't WA?

"Passing this Bill at state level helps to address past injustices and would represent a genuine step towards meaningful reconciliation.

"Strong, cross-party work is needed at a Federal and State level to help build support and understanding around Constitutional Recognition ahead of an important referendum on this issue. I encourage the Premier to support recognition at a state level and take a leading role in building the case for national Constitutional change," Senator Siewert concluded.

" In WA, a referendum is not required to change the State's constitution," Robin Chapple MLC, WA Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues said today.

"The Premier therefore has the power to right this wrong, and he should do so," said Mr Chapple.


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