Today, the ACT Greens supported a motion in the Legislative Assembly to support the Voice to Parliament.
“The ACT Greens are strongly committed to justice for the First Nations people of Australia. We are committed to Truth, Treaty and Voice, the three actions sought in the Statement from the Heart. Enshrining a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the constitution is an important step in this process, but we are keenly aware that a Voice to Parliament in itself will not be enough,” ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said.
“The First Nations tribes were Australia’s first sovereign Nations, and this sovereignty was never ceded. This land was forcibly taken from First Nations people and this injustice has not yet been addressed.
“To respond to this injustice, the Statement from the Heart emphasises the need for re-shaping our relationships and being truthful about our history, alongside implementing major constitutional and structural reforms. The Statement calls for a process of agreement-making (working towards a treaty) and of truth-telling about our history.
“A Voice to Parliament cannot be implemented in isolation and must be progressed in conjunction with efforts to further the goals of Treaty and Truth-telling.
“The Australian Greens this week confirmed their support for a Voice to Parliament, but we are all aware that this was not an easy decision. This is because the Greens have listened to the diverse views in the community and understand these different perspectives. Some First Nations people strongly believe that a Voice to Parliament should not be progressed until there is a Treaty and that the offer of an advisory role is not enough, while others believe a Voice to Parliament is an important first step towards a Treaty. And, of course, there are a range of views in between.
“We support this motion today, as we see a Voice to Parliament as a step in the right direction. However, we will continue to highlight the need for Truth and Treaty. These broader actions cannot be forgotten or compromised because they are more challenging.”