Wednesday, 13 February 2019
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1387 standing in my name for today relating to the federal government's spending to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific before asking it be taken as a formal motion.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that the Federal Government is spending $48.7 million to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific, of which $6.7 million is being spent on a replica of the HMB Endeavour to circumnavigate Australia;
(b) recognises that First Nations peoples are still feeling the impacts of ongoing dispossession and oppression and continue to have poor health, employment, justice, housing and education outcomes, and high rates of child removals; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to reallocate the $48.7 million towards meeting our Closing the Gap targets and a truth telling process.
Labor supports paragraphs (a) and (b) which acknowledge our history and the way it interacts with the ongoing social and economic determinants of First Nations people. Labor will not be supporting paragraph (c) that proposes reallocation of the $48.7 million. It does not address the structural changes required to properly address First Nations' disadvantage. Labor instead calls on the government to recommit to closing the gap and properly funding effective strategies for meeting the close the gap targets. So we ask the motion be split.
Governments across Australia are investing over $33 billion in programs that benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including $5 billion through the Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy. The government's investment in the 250th anniversary of James Cook's voyage to Australia includes measures that engage with Indigenous communities exploring the view from the shore and funding for the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies to scope bringing cultural heritage material held overseas back to its original custodians and owners. The government believes it's important that we recognise and acknowledge our history as part of our efforts to advance the cause of reconciliation.
According to the request, I'm going to put paragraphs (a) and (b) first. The question is that those paragraphs be agreed to?
Question agreed to.
I'll now put paragraph (c) as amended. The question is that paragraph (c) of motion No. 1387 be agreed to.