TIME SET: Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt has called for a referendum in three years.
TIME SET: Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt has called for a referendum in three years. Marie Nirme

Hinkler MP backs Wyatt's indigenous referendum calls

HINKLER Federal MP Keith Pitt shows support for the Indigenous Affairs Minister's call for a referendum into constitutional recognition within three years.

Yet the process announced by Ken Wyatt on Wednesday could not be rushed, he said.

"The time is right to discuss this and ensure that all Australians have a say via a referendum,” Mr Pitt said.

"A referendum is important so that every voice can be heard.

"It needs serious consideration so that the right model is designed to put to the Australian public.”

Mr Pitt said the Federal Government will develop a plan with departments and with indigenous communities, organisations and leaders.

ABC reported there were concerns from some LNP backbenchers about the practicalities of indigenous recognition, particularly Sydney MP Craig Kelly and former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Mr Kelly said the money dedicated to the referendum would be better spent "closing the gap”.

An option of having a third parliamentary chamber for indigenous people would not be productive, he said.

This week Gidarjil Development Corporation's managing director Kerry Blackman emphasised the importance of having a treaty before constitutional recognition.

At the Bundaberg NAIDOC March this morning there was expected to be 700 shirts with the treaty logo handed out to marchers.

"A nation can't have a treaty with itself.

"We never seceded our sovereignty, we are still a nation of people in a nation,” he said.

State Aboriginal Minister Jackie Trad supported the "positive agenda” set by Mr Wyatt to close the statistic gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

"As a nation, we still have a long way to go and addressing intergenerational disadvantage is an incredibly complex task that requires commitment at all levels of Government to tackle,” Ms Trad said.

"I fully support Mr Wyatt's consultative approach and his commitment to co-designing any model for constitutional change.

"Giving indigenous Australians a voice and ensuring genuine collaboration is a vital part of the way forward.

"Without this we will never achieve true and meaningful reconciliation.”



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