Thursday, 21 June 2007
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Amendment Bill 2007
I think that is where we differ. I think that is the fundamental point. The fight that Indigenous peoples have had in this country for a long time is on non-Indigenous people presuming to understand the relationship that Indigenous peoples have had with this country for over 40,000 years. It is highly offensive, to be frank, and Indigenous people will once again be saddened that we have gone back to a point where apparently non-Indigenous people can understand that implicit and extraordinary relationship. It is a relationship that I can not pretend to understand but at least can be empathetic towards. And I can be respectful of the fact that it is Indigenous people, and Indigenous people alone, who have a right to speak for Indigenous people. I support the amendment that Senator Bartlett has moved. Like him, I recognise that is a less strong amendment but given that, as predicted, we did not get the first one up, we will try this one.