Northern Territory Senator, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has come out firing at news this week that the Government may push ahead with moves to establish an independent Indigenous Voice to Parliament outside the Constitution.
The Senator, who was a prominent voice for the successful ‘No’ Voice to Parliament referendum campaign – which won more than 60% of the national vote – says it has become abundantly clear that the leaders of the defeated ‘Yes’ campaign were “never being honest about their agenda”.
“In the lead up to the referendum I was adamant that many of the leaders of the Yes campaign were not being honest about their divisive agenda,” said Senator Price.
“It was clear when you looked back at their words before the referendum became a prominent issue.
“They were all ‘separation’, ‘grievance’, and a fundamental refusal to accept Australia as a legitimate nation.”
And now, less than two weeks on from the comprehensive result, the “masks are off again” she says.
“How else can you explain a statement on referendum night that called non-Indigenous Australians – including migrants – “newcomers” and themselves the “true owners of the land”?
“And then, after their week of silence, a new statement appeared on Sunday night, just oozing grievance, anger at democracy, and hostility towards non-Indigenous Australians.
“Australia is ‘our country’ they said.
“It is the legitimacy of the non-Indigenous occupation in this country that requires recognition, not the other way around. Our sovereignty has never been ceded.
“So much for the generous invitation that would unify Australians.
“They went on to say that Australians who voted no committed “a shameful act whether knowingly or not, and there is nothing positive to be interpreted from it”.
“This statement has made clear what myself and Warren Mundine and other No campaigners were saying all along: the idea that this was about unity was a lie.
“The idea that this was just a simple generous invitation that would make no difference to our system of government was a lie. It always was a lie.”
The Senator says the Federal Government has lost both the referendum and all credibility.
“And then to top it all off, they have said they’ll push forward with establishing an independent Voice outside the Constitution or even legislation.”
“Quite why they couldn’t do that in the first place is a question we should be asking.
“But more importantly, do they expect taxpayers to foot the bill for it?
“Because if they reckon this is their country, that Australians have acted shamefully, and they are not interested in being part of our nation, then I reckon it’s time to stop indulging their failures and they should pay for their Voice themselves.
“Not only that, I trust those leaders in taxpayer funded universities, and who have sat on government boards and whose Indigenous organisations have been funded by the government will be surrendering those jobs immediately.
“After all, surely they cannot in good conscience accept money from a nation they don’t believe is legitimate?
“Or is this all just the narcissism of activism and they’re not really going to walk their talk. I think you and I know the answer.”