Malcolm Turnbull Absolutely Copped It From A Bloody Game ‘Q&A’ Audience

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave one of his most combative Q&A appearances to date last night, rattling off exasperated responses to questions regarding the NBN and the marriage equality postal survey.

But his response to the ongoing dialogue about the push for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to parliament was perhaps the most telling, as the PM let out an audible sigh to an audience member’s concerns.

When pressed on the Federal Government’s decision to disregard elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart – a document written with input from Indigenous communities across Australia, which calls for Indigenous Australia to have a formal presence in the parliamentary system – Turnbull said the proposal wouldn’t have popular support.

Lawyer Teela Reid asked why the proposal wouldn’t be put to a referendum, when the same-sex marriage survey was inflicted on the Australian populace in the face of wide-spread support for the measure.

Turnbull said the new body would effectively become a de facto third chamber of parliament in any form it takes, as it would have input on any law affecting Indigenous Australians – a purview Turnbull said would influence all laws.

“I have to be honest about this,” Turnbull said.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea, and if it were to be put up to a referendum, it would be put down in flames.”

Reid said “I think the Prime Minister continues to undermine our democracy, and clearly the point of the Uluru statement was to put the voice to parliament, and the make-up of that voice to parliament, in the parliament’s hands.

“The Prime Minister can honestly not sit there and say it will fail. If that’s his position, then we clearly need a leader with some courage who’s going to take out country, entirely, not just Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but everyone.”

When Turnbull instead suggested that Indigenous Australia already had representation in parliament through members like Labor’s Linda Burney and the LNP’s Ken Wyatt, Reid said they also worked to represent their own political interests.

It was that comment which elicited a deflated “ugh” from the PM. And it only got more heated from there.

Reid later gave another response to Turnbull’s line of argument, saying he knows Wyatt and Burney are not in parliament for the express purpose of representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Not exactly a totally cool and collected showing from the man who once fronted the panel show in a leather jacket.