An Abo­rig­i­nal treaty

The West Australian - - LETTERS -

Like Barn­aby Joyce, Marvin Drinkwa­ter (Let­ters, 10/9) shows his ig­no­rance con­cern­ing “in­dige­nous rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Can­berra”.

Mr Joyce was naive enough to say that this would re­sult in a third cham­ber in our Fed­eral Par­lia­ment. It ap­pears Mr Drinkwa­ter be­lieves the same.

Clearly, nei­ther of them have read the Uluru State­ment that set out the as­pi­ra­tions of many of our Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and was sum­mar­ily dis­missed by the Turn­bull gov­ern­ment.

It had noth­ing to do with cre­at­ing an ex­tra cham­ber of leg­is­la­tion.

As for in­ter­na­tional law, Aus­tralia does not al­ways ob­serve those laws and they do not de­ter­mine the laws we make for the na­tion or changes to our Con­sti­tu­tion.

Fur­ther, an Abo­rig­i­nal Treaty would have a clear le­gal ba­sis if the Aus­tralian peo­ple agreed, as the ma­jor­ity would.

Hav­ing an in­dige­nous body to give ad­vice on the mak­ing of laws af­fect­ing Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple would be no dif­fer­ent to the strong in­dus­try groups and unions, to­gether with lob­by­ists, who spend mil­lions of dol­lars to in­flu­ence and ad­vise gov­ern­ments on pol­icy and leg­is­la­tion.

Why should our in­dige­nous peo­ple be de­nied the same op­por­tu­nity?

Gor­don Mar­shall, Melville

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