Australia

MP Linda Burney slams 'joke' Tony Abbott envoy appointment

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Labor MP Linda Burney has blasted the former prime minister Tony Abbott's role as special envoy on Indigenous affairs, calling it a "joke".

Labor MP Linda Burney has doubled down on her fierce criticism of Tony Abbott's appointment as special envoy on Indigenous affairs.

The Indigenous MP is scathing about the former prime minister's new role as details emerge about what the job entails.

"This is just a joke. They are making it up as they go along with Tony Abbott as the special envoy for Indigenous Australians," Ms Burney told reporters on Monday.

"Aboriginal leaders are clear, they are saying they do not need an envoy, they can advocate for themselves.

"There are many peak organisations, articulate people, and people that understand what the Indigenous space is about."

Mr Abbott will report directly to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and work closely with the Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion.

He will also work alongside Education Minister Dan Tehan to address school performance and attendance amongst indigenous children.

Mr Morrison said Mr Abbott "won't be confined by the usual constraints of a minister" as special envoy.

Mr Abbott said he had some initial hesitation about getting in the way of the ministers responsible, but was confident he would have productive relationships with them.

"My job between now and the next election is to do my best and to make recommendations and put them into practice," Mr Abbott told 2GB radio on Monday

"Nigel Scullion is a good bloke and we've worked well together before and I'm sure we'll work well again."

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