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Voices of grassroots people must be heard as Treaty back on the national agenda: Greens

Media Release
Lidia Thorpe 9 Dec 2020

After urging Treaty be put back on the national agenda as recently as her first speech to the Senate last week, Australian Greens First Nations spokesperson Senator Lidia Thorpe today welcomed a motion from Senator Dodson to establish a Joint Select Committee to inquire into and report on the truth telling and treaty making elements of Makarrata.

“This country needs truth-telling. We need justice. First Nations peoples have called for decades for a treaty to be realised in this country,” Senator Thorpe said today.

“In principle, this Committee is a step in the right direction - but we need to get this process right.

“ That’s why I will be seeking a seat on this Committee to make sure that the voices of First Nations peoples at the grassroots are heard.

“Australia lags behind other Commonwealth countries by failing to have a Treaty with its First People. 

“If we write it together, it can be the means to tell the story of who we want to be as a country, creating a national identity that celebrates what unites us, protects the rights of First Nations people and acknowledges the injustices, both past and present. 

“Treaty and truth-telling is needed to make sure any changes in the constitution are meaningful and not just tokenistic - we’ve already seen this Government watering down its plans for a Voice to parliament and be non-committal on constitutional recognition. 

“We cannot change the past, but we can build a better future and that starts with bringing healing and people together,” Senator Thorpe added.

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