Lidia Thorpe - Speech in Parliament: In this final week of the 58th Parliament of Victoria I want to take the opportunity to thank the people of Northcote for putting their trust in me as their local member. With this privilege I have worked hard to represent our values and stand up for the issues that matter.
We have had highs and lows.
I was disgusted by the so-called progressive Labor government’s introduction of mandatory sentencing and racially vilifying ‘tough on crime’ laws — so regressive.
I also found it really tough as an Aboriginal person to be in the chamber while MPs from both major parties voted against recognising Aboriginal sovereignty in the treaty legislation.
But I am honoured that I have had the chance to use this platform to support residents and grassroots communities to organise and have their voices heard on local issues such as school underfunding, poor planning, the public housing sell-off, proper sports facilities for women, renters rights and lack of community consultation on transport projects.
I am also so grateful that I have been able to have Aboriginal voices amplified on crucial issues, including Treaty, where Elders are finally being heard; compensation to the Stolen Generation, where survivors are again finding the strength to speak out; and on child removals, where I am supporting grandmas to organise to change the system.
I am proud to have achieved these things and I am determined to continue this work in the next Parliament.