Following a corrosive misinformation campaign led by Peter Dutton, the Albanese Labor government must lay the groundwork for lasting First Nations justice through a $250 million commitment to a Truth and Justice commission, Adam Bandt said on Sunday morning.
National truth processes played a vital part in healing processes in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Victoria established the Yoorrook Justice Commission in May 2021 to hear, record and address the truths about First Peoples' experiences of colonisation in Victoria from 1788 to now. The Yoorook Justice Commission has the powers of a Royal Commission.
A national Truth and Justice Commission would work alongside and in support of local and state level truth telling processes, and would help initiate processes in regions and states where none currently exist.
Attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP:
“Peter Dutton is the master of misinformation, and there’s an urgent need now for truth-telling and healing,” said Mr Bandt.
“Peter Dutton sowed fear and division with a Trumpian misinformation campaign. To lay the groundwork for lasting justice, we now need truth-telling and healing.
“The Greens are calling today for $250 million to be committed to a Truth and Justice Commission in this term of Parliament.
“There’s no need for delay and we can’t leave the country without a clear pathway forward. A national Truth and Justice Commission would bring everyone together to talk honestly about the violence and dispossession of First Nations peoples so we can heal and move forward together.
“To First Nations people who are hurting today, to everyone who is heartbroken, demoralised, exhausted or angry, the Greens are with you. The Greens will not stop fighting to advance First Nations justice.
“The Greens will push the government to establish a Truth and Justice Commission and work towards Treaties that recognise First Nations peoples’ sovereignty."
Attributable to the Greens portfolio holder for First Nations, Senator Dorinda Cox:
“This country is founded on violence and dispossession, but many people across the country have no idea of the truth of what happened to First Nations people during colonisation, nor the ongoing impacts of colonial systems and institutions.
“A $250 million commitment to a Truth and Justice Commission would begin the process of recognising and repairing the harms of 234 years of injustice, and allow our country to come together in an honest conversation where everyone has access to the truth.
“Until we tell the truth about our past and begin work towards a Treaty with First Nations people that recognises our sovereignty, there will be a painful hole in the centre of our democracy.
“It’s time to show some ambition. We must use this moment and momentum to drive the real change that will come through Truth and Treaty and the affirmation of First Nations Sovereignty.”
A truth-telling process involves exploring, understanding, and reckoning with our painful past and the impact it continues to have on First Nations people and their cultures.
The Truth and Justice Commission will be an independent body that investigates and reveals past wrongdoing to resolve ongoing and historical conflict and heal from it.
The Commission will have the powers of a Royal Commission and will investigate and reveal wrongdoing and human rights abuses perpetrated against First Nations people since colonisation to the present day.
The Truth and Justice Commission will lay the foundations for agreement making between governments and First Nations people, as well as foster healing and national unity based on truth-telling.
The Commission’s work will be underpinned by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and led by First Nations people.