Tuesday, 17 October 2023
Matters of Public Importance
Australian Constitution: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
The member for Kennedy asked, 'What are you doing about it?' What we're doing about it is the legislation that's in the parliament that the member for Kennedy rightly—and I thank him for it—voted for a couple of weeks ago.
At the moment if you're a young Indigenous person and you get the marks and you live in the member for Kennedy's electorate, the demand-driven system means the university will be guaranteed to get the funding to get that young bloke or that young woman to university, but not if they live in Brisbane or Sydney or Melbourne. It applies to Indigenous kids in the bush but not in the city. We're fixing that. The legislation that this House has voted for, which is now before the Senate, is about extending that system to all Indigenous kids. We're told, if it works, that it will double the number of young Indigenous people with a university degree in the next 10 years. That's good. That's pretty good. It doesn't really close the gap, because remember what I said: 45 per cent of young people in their 20s and 30s have a uni degree today; seven per cent of Indigenous young people do at the moment. If this legislation works, in 10 years time that will be 12 per cent.