Sen Carr: I just take this opportunity to point out the Labor Party’s position on this motion before the chamber. I indicate that Labor supports Australia Day—and let me be very, very clear about this: we have no plans to change it. We do understand the importance of a national day, and we know that many Australians take pride in Australia Day. But we also understand that for many, including Indigenous Australians, Australia Day is a day which represents a history of dispossession and suffering, and we cannot ignore that. So Labor will be supporting this motion.
But let me be clear about these childish games being played by both the government and by the Greens: they will do nothing to progress the cause of reconciliation, nor will they create a better future for Indigenous Australians. Stripping local councils of their capacity to conduct citizenship ceremonies is a gross overreaction by government. It is a pathetic infringement of what is a scheduling decision by municipal councils. This government: does it really not have anything better to do? Why have they been so focused on these issues? Why aren’t they focused on the real questions about jobs and health care and education? If the Prime Minister wants to be the mayor of Point Piper, he’s free to do so. The Greens political party have been just as bad, politicising a legitimate discussion with Indigenous Australians about reconciliation.
Labor supports a process of truth-telling as part of the nation’s healing, and that’s why the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Shorten, has expressed support for the recommendations of the Referendum Council, which has called for a Makarrata Commission to oversee the process of truth-telling and agreement making.
Chamber Senate on 17/10/2017Item REGULATIONS AND DETERMINATIONS – Citizenship (Authorisation) Revocation and Authorisation Instrument 2017, Citizenship (Authorisation) Revocation and Authorisation Amendment Instrument 2017 – Disallowance Speaker: Carr, Sen Kim/ Parliment Transcript used for reporting news
Senators Australia Day Citizenship Transcripts