The 44th Federal Parliament began business today with discussions over the removal of the carbon tax legislation and plans to amend the Race Discrimination Act.
By
Malarndirri McCarthy

Source:
NITV News
13 Nov 2013 - 5:17 PM  UPDATED 13 Nov 2013 - 6:08 PM

As the day draws to a close, Senator Nova Peris will prepare to give her maiden speech, but not before a traditional blessing takes place.

Larakia man Erik Fejo and Minjilang's Jimmy Cooper made the journey from the Northern Territory to provide their blessing to Senator Peris, conscious of the political weight her shoulders need to carry.

This evening Senator Peris will address Parliament to tell her story and raise the issues she will focus on during her time as Senator.

But a more immediate issue in the 44th Federal Parliament is the plan to repeal a section of the Race Discrimination Act in response to a court case over Indigenous identity.

Columnist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching the law in 2011 when he wrote about a group of ''light-skinned'' Indigenous Australians.

Now the Federal Government is using that case as their reason to change the Race Discrimination Act.

“There are so many other issues that demand attention from the Attorney General, he chooses instead to give one of Rupert Murdoch's lackeys a cop out by changing the law because he was found to have been discriminatory," says Federal Member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt.

"That's not the way the Attorney General of this country should behave and I don't support the proposal."

Calls have been put into Attorney General George Brandis' office for an interview.

Meanwhile, newly elected MP Clive Palmer has sent strong signals to the federal government that he will improve Indigenous disadvantage and highlighted his own financial example in Western Australia.

“We look at our Indigenous population and we see how you would feel if you were dying earlier or younger, we see that their life expectancy is less than the rest of our community," Mr Palmer said.

"We see that government doesn’t provide them with sufficient health care and services, their children are incarcerated and they’re all suffering.

"So I set up that one hundred million dollars as my money, as an example to what we can do in Australia, and our government needs to come to terms with all of those issues and it needs to make sure that all Australians, wherever they choose to live, are given all the same services," Mr Palmer said.