Vote could re­alise Abo­rig­i­nal par­ity

Pilbara News - - News - An­drew Til­lett

The num­ber of Abo­rig­i­nal MPs serv­ing in Fed­eral Par­lia­ment could be com­men­su­rate with the share of the na­tion’s in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tion af­ter the July 2 elec­tion.

Mal­colm Turn­bull said the elec­tion of six or seven in­dige­nous can­di­dates would achieve that mile­stone as he at­tended a hand-back cer­e­mony in Dar­win, mark­ing the end of one of Aus­tralia’s long­est-run­ning land ti­tle dis­putes.

The Prime Min­is­ter said there were at least 12 can­di­dates from across all po­lit­i­cal par­ties who iden­ti­fied as Abo­rig­i­nal or Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der seek­ing po­si­tions in Fed­eral Par­lia­ment.

“If six or seven of those can­di­dates are suc­cess­ful, we will have par­ity in our Par­lia­ment — that is, our first Aus­tralians will be rep­re­sented in the Par­lia­ment as they are in the pop­u­la­tion,” he said. An anal­y­sis by The West Aus­tralian shows there are enough in­dige­nous can­di­dates stand­ing in winnable seats that the mark could be met and even beaten.

La­bor has three can­di­dates ex­pected to win seats: WA Se­na­tor Pa­trick Dod­son, NSW’s Linda Bur­ney and Malarndirri McCarthy, who will re­place Nova Peris as a North­ern Ter­ri­tory Se­na­tor.

Ad­di­tional in­dige­nous MPs in the next Par­lia­ment could in­clude WA Lib­eral Ken Wy­att, who is bat­tling to hold his seat of Hasluck, La­bor’s Tammy Solonec if she pre­vails in Swan and Kado Muir who could clinch a WA Senate seat for the Na­tion­als.

Tas­ma­nian in­de­pen­dent Jac­qui Lam­bie, who claims Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage, is also likely to be re­turned. It is touch-and-go in Queens­land for Lib­eral Na­tional Party Se­na­tor Joanna Lind­gren, who is the niece of Abo­rig­i­nal par­lia­men­tar­ian Neville Bon­ner.

Yawuru leader Pa­trick Dod­son is ex­pected to win a seat in Fed­eral Par­lia­ment. Pic­ture: Glenn Cord­ing­ley

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