The Greens has officially backed the Albanese Government’s push for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament but are still determined to get further progress for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples over the line with the Federal Government.
The progressive party is not letting the government forget about establishing a truth-telling commission and a treaty with Indigenous Australians alongside the referendum on including a Voice to Parliament.
Per The Age, Greens leader Adam Bandt and deputy leader Lidia Thorpe are expected to meet with Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney at the end of August. They will begin negotiations on a federal treaty and truth-telling commission.
“We’ve made it clear that The Greens want to see progress on all elements of the Statement [from the Heart],” Thorpe told The Age.
“We support legislation that improves the lives of First Nations people, and I look forward to talking with Minister Burney about how we achieve that together in this parliament.
“Treaty will provide that mechanism for us to negotiate equal terms on how we can live together in the same country and celebrate us as well.”
Senator Thorpe took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to confirm she and Bandt have the backing of the Greens party room to put pressure on the Albanese government about these issues. She added she’s looking for “acts of good faith” that proves the government is serious about long-term justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Greens party room has backed Adam and I to begin negotiations. Our priority is saving First Nations people’s lives, before any referendum. I’m looking for acts of good faith, to prove that this Govt is committed to long term justice for our people.
— Senator Lidia Thorpe (@SenatorThorpe) August 9, 2022
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke in depth about the First Nations Voice to Parliament at Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land in late July and suggested a potential draft question for the upcoming referendum.
“We should consider asking our fellow Australians something as simple as: ‘Do you support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?’,” he said.
“A straightforward proposition. A simple principle. A question from the heart.”
The referendum date is yet to be announced but it is expected to be held between May and November 2023.