House debates

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Statements by Members

Australian Constitution

1:54 pm

Photo of Mark DreyfusMark Dreyfus (Isaacs, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Attorney General) Share this | | Hansard source

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Australia to put right one of our greatest wrongs, the lack of proper recognition in our Constitution of our original inhabitants. As Labor leader Anthony Albanese said at Uluru last month: 'With grace, patience and unadorned power, the statement’s authors mapped out the path forward for us as a nation.' Sadly, the government has rejected this path, using excuses that my colleague Senator Patrick Dodson, a key figure in that historic agreement, has described as 'a cop out from people not prepared to face the truth of our settlement narrative'.

So let me state clearly: Labor supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. If this Prime Minister is not prepared to work with Labor on bringing about proper constitutional recognition of our First Peoples, then Labor in government will implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. We will move to place a voice to parliament in our national Constitution and establish processes for truth telling and treaty through the creation of a makarrata commission. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an extraordinary act of generosity, friendship and reconciliation. For the sake of all of our people, it is a gift we must accept in that same spirit for the benefit of all our people.