House debates

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Statements by Members

Australian Constitution

1:57 pm

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

It has been 13 years since the apology to the stolen generations in this very chamber. Today is 26 May. It is Sorry Day, and it is four years—four long years—since the Uluru delegates issued a kind, generous and inclusive statement to all of us as Australians. It said:

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

…   …   …

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

The incarceration of our people, the separation of families and the systemic social and economic exclusion of First Peoples diminish us all as a nation. Labor is committed to this statement in full, and the hand of bipartisanship to those on that side of the House still remains. A referendum is not beyond us as a nation, and the poor excuse, 'It might fail,' is just that, an absolute excuse. It will not fail if there is bipartisanship and the argument is made properly about the Uluru statement.