• Pat Dodson has been nominated to co-chair a parliamentary committee to investigate recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution. (AAP)Source: AAP
The Indigenous Labor Senator has been nominated to co-chair a parliamentary committee to investigate recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution.
By
Douglas Smith

Source:
NITV News
2 Mar 2018 - 1:03 PM  UPDATED 2 Mar 2018 - 2:17 PM

The announcement of a joint-select committee came after Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten agreed to re-establish talks on working together towards a successful referendum on Indigenous recognition.

Labor MP, Linda Burney welcomed the motion announced in parliament, saying it was clear that First Nations people wanted a greater say, involvement and participation in the decisions that affect them.

“I particularly welcome the terms of reference and recognise that the committee will be established with co-chairs, one from the government and one from the opposition,” Ms Burney said.

“We on this side of the House anticipate that Senator Dodson will be one of the co-chairs.”

Taking to social media, Yawuru man, Pat Dodson praised his nomination.

"So much water has already run under the bridge. A new bridge has to be built with patience, persistence, and cooperation."

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Nigel Scullion is confident that through the process of a joint select committee, the Parliament will be able to develop a referendum question that is capable of achieving the double-majority required to succeed at referendum.

“I am pleased that the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader have agreed to terms of reference for a Joint Select Committee to progress this important and outstanding matter to ensure that First Australians are recognised in our nation’s founding document," Scullion said.

"Labor is committed to working with First Nations People to ensure their voices are heard – including through a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice."

Minister Angus Taylor said the Liberal Government was in support of a joint-select committee on constitutional recognition.

“Our democracy is built on the foundation of all Australian citizens having equal civic rights – all being able to vote for, stand for and serve in either of the two chambers of our national parliament," Mr Taylor said.

“We seek to establish a joint-select committee on constitutional recognition, relating to Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander peoples, be established to enquire into and report on matters relating to constitutional change.

"We hope this parliamentary process will look for where there may still be common ground, when it comes to constitution ground between the government and the opposition," Mr Taylor said.

Chair of the First Nations Caucus Labor Senator, Malarndirri Mccarthy said that Labor had demonstrated their willingness to work with the Government on constitutional reform, but that they were absolutely clear that they would not wait for them.

“By contrast, Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed the views of First Nations People,” Senator Mccarthy said.

Senator McCarthy says Labor will participate in the new Joint Select Committee in hopes that the Government will reconsider its position and join Labor in a bi-partisan push for constitutional change.

"Labor is committed to working with First Nations People to ensure their voices are heard – including through a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice," Ms McCarthy said.

"This was the number one priority from the Referendum Council and the Uluru Statement from the Heart and Labor will do all we can to make these a reality."

The Joint Parliamentary Committee will deliver an interim report in June and a final report in November.

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
NT Government accepts Royal Commission's recommendations, but supports only half ‘in principle’
The Northern Territory Government has responded to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children’s final report, saying it accepts the intent and direction of all 227 recommendations, but it will only support half of them in principle.
Productivity Commissioner role one step closer despite Indigenous definition row
The Federal Government is one step closer to establishing a new Indigenous Productivity Commissioner role, despite the controversy surrounding the definition of 'Indigenous person'.
How Baker Boy rose to Australian music fame
He says he's just a 'proud, black, Yolngu boy', but if you have listened to his shows, you'd know he's set for stardom.
South Africa’s parliament votes to give land back to black people
In a country where 72 per cent of farmland is owned by white people, the South African government has passed a motion to take the land off the owners without compensation, and give it to black people.