Vote could realise Aboriginal parity
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