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Motion: Black Lives Matter

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (16:03): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 604, standing in my name and the names of Senator Siewert and Senator Di Natale, related to Black Lives Matter and First Nation people be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: An objection has been noted, so that has been denied.

Senator FARUQI: In lieu of suspending standing orders, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FARUQI: I have to say: shame on the Liberals for putting on par a motion put up by Senator Pauline Hanson on 'all lives matter' and the Greens' motion on 'black lives matter'. Senator Hanson's motion refuses to acknowledge the inequalities that exist for our Indigenous people in Australia in terms of discrimination, disadvantage, violence and marginalisation, whereas the Greens' motion is actually about us here, today, acknowledging all those disadvantages and that discrimination. It is actually about state violence in Australia that still exists against Indigenous people in Australia. It is about committing us all and the government to doing something about it. If you don't want to do something about it, don't try and hide behind motions. Have the guts to take a position and vote likewise. (Time expired)


Text of the motion

Senators Faruqi, Siewert and Di Natale: To move—

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

        (i) hundreds of thousands of people are marching in the United States, Australia and other countries across the world to demand justice for Mr George Floyd and other Black people who have been killed through police violence,

        (ii) State violence in Australia against First Nations peoples did not end with the Stolen Generations; it continues to this day,

        (iii) at least 437 First Nations people have died in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, without a single conviction recorded,

        (iv) the trauma of dispossession for First Nations peoples is further exacerbated by the State still allowing kids as young as 10 to be locked up, and

        (v) First Nations peoples make up around 2% of our population, but 27% of the prison population—the State continues to fail to close the gap on health, education, and income;

(b) expresses solidarity with people marching across the US and in Australia, in support of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter;

(c) calls on the Government to commit to ending state and police violence against First Nations peoples in Australia;

(d) and calls on the Federal Government to implement all of the recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

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