Former prime minister Tony Abbott said Jacinta Nampijinpa Price “knows what she’s talking about” as the debate continues about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Senator Price has spoken out against the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, saying the body would create a division between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians and wouldn’t address the issues facing First Nations communities.
While appearing on Credlin on Tuesday night, Mr Abbott told Sky News Australia host Peta Credlin he has ‘enormous respect’ for Ms Price’s opinion on the matter.
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“I have enormous respect for Jacinta Price and unlike so many of the people who talk a lot about this area- Jacinta Price has lived a life in remote Australia.
“So she knows what she’s talking about. That’s why her focus is so relentlessly practical.”
Mr Abbott said what we need to focus on instead is “what are we actually gong to do to get the kids to school, to get the adults to work and to keep communities safe.”
“Because all too often we apply these different standards and we say well it’s OK for indigenous kids not to go to school, it’s ok for indigenous adults not to go to work because of culture.
“We tolerate things that we wouldn’t tolerate for a second in suburban Australia because we say well that’s just the sort of thing that happens in remote places.”
The Voice to Parliament was a key element of the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart and called for an elected Indigenous advisory body to the Federal Parliament.
The proposed body would advise the government on issues affecting First Nations people.
The Labor Government pushed the issue to the center of its agenda when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared on election night that there would be a referendum in his first term.
The former prime minister weighed in on the issue and said there was no need for “constitutional change”.
“I think this proposed constitutionally voice to the parliament is wrong in principle and it will work out badly in practice.
“I don’t believe that we need a constitutional change if we are to have a voice and certainly I don’t think that there is any lack of consultation already,” Mr Abbott said.