Senate debates

Thursday, 5 August 2021


Closing the Gap

1:52 pm

Photo of Lidia ThorpeLidia Thorpe (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] Today the do-nothing, 'I don't hold a hose, mate' Prime Minister stood up in the other place to again highlight the failures of the government he leads with regard to First Nations people in this country. The Morrison government yet again is showing us that it is not serious about ending systemic inequality between First Nations and non-Indigenous people in this country. Mr Morrison isn't just failing to close the gap; in his leadership vacuum, things are getting worse. Over the last eight years of the Liberal government, most key indicators have gone backwards, despite First Nations communities demanding action. First Nations people are not the problem. The do-nothing Morrison government and the system that is deliberately stacked against First Nations people are the problem.

The 2021 Closing the gap report is yet another shameful reminder that more First Nations babies are being stolen from their families, more First Nations people are dying by suicide and more First Nations people are being imprisoned. This report clearly demonstrates that the Morrison government has no idea. The Prime Minister is standing in the way of the solutions our people have always had to the problems we have been pushed to experience as a result of colonisation and land dispossession. Grassroots First Nations people need to be in the driver's seat when it comes to making decisions that affect our lives. Self-determination means giving us the right, the resources and the power to determine our own destiny. Imagine that! Grassroots First Nations leadership is the only way forward— (Time expired)