The Independent State Member for Cairns, Rob Pyne, made the comments during a speech at the official opening of NAIDOC Week celebrations in Cairns on Sunday.
Mr Pyne started by acknowledging the traditional Yidindji and Yirrganydji owners, stating the country upon which the celebrations were being held "is, was and always will be, Aboriginal Land".
"I say that, because to quote one former average politician and exceptional singer, 'it is time to pay the rent', he said, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd.
My Pyne went on to issue a rallying cry to the largely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience, saying the time was right to push for change.
"Coming out of the Uluru Statement, I hope it will energise a lot of you to come forward, just like all those great leaders came forward in 1967," he said.
Mr Pyne urged people to step up the fight and continue the work started by rights campaigners of the 1960s and 70s.
"Your Tiger O'Shanes, your Micky Millers, your Joe McGuinesses... and all those great men who led in that era. I'd ask you all to come forward now, in their memory, and in their spirit, redouble your efforts, to advance the cause of Indigenous people."
"It's not time, it’s past time, and I encourage you all to keep the fight up, the struggle, so that the Indigenous First peoples of this country get the legal respect that they are entitled to," he concluded.