Lidia Thorpe has been fighting against the vote of Parliament for months. Now, two days before every Australian goes to the polls, she says she is “absolutely” in favor of some kind of vote
Lidia Thorpe has revealed she would support a statutory vote, despite being strongly opposed to adding the proposal to the constitution.
The fiery Green Party-turned-independent senator has actively campaigned against the Indigenous Voice to Parliament alongside the Blak Sovereign Movement.
But in an interview with ABC Radio National on Thursday, Ms Thorpe revealed she has no concerns about a First Nations statutory advisory body.
“Absolutely,” she said. ‘Why not?’
The fiery Green and now independent senator has actively campaigned against the Indigenous Voice to Parliament alongside the Blak Sovereign Movement
Such a panel would perform the same functions as the panel proposed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and advise the government on ways to improve Indigenous services.
The key difference, however, is that it is not written into the Constitution.
“If legislation is brought before Parliament that says they want to set up another advisory body and it will fully represent the people, I will support it as long as we are not in that state,” Ms Thorpe said.
“We need all the help we can get.”
As it stands, Ms Thorpe does not wish to take part in the campaign for A Voice. But she has also said repeatedly throughout the year that she has not joined the conservative no vote.
“I oppose the vote because the vote is just window dressing for constitutional recognition. And we have been resisting that for over a decade,” she said.
But Ms Thorpe said Indigenous Australians who resisted colonization and constitutional recognition could begin “a real journey of healing and truth” in the wake of a successful no vote
Mr Albanese has categorically ruled out enacting any bill that would result in a referendum failing, arguing that this was not what the indigenous people had called for in the “Uluru Declaration from the Heart” and that it would contradict the will of the Australian public.
Aunt Pat Anderson, an outspoken yes campaigner and co-chair of the Uluru Dialogue, said the reason a statutory vote “doesn’t work for us” is because it is “subject to the whims and imaginations of current politics”.
“Our organizations don’t know if they will be funded from one government to the next, and if there is a change of government we are back to square one.”
But Ms Thorpe said Indigenous Australians who resisted colonization and constitutional recognition could begin “a real journey of healing and truth” in the wake of a successful no vote.
“Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country want to tell the truth, which was ultimately part of the Uluru statement, which we no longer hear in this debate.”
“We’re not talking about a contract either… so I think there’s a lot to look forward to and instead of thinking we’ve been defeated, we’re looking at this as a victory.”
A successful vote in Saturday’s referendum requires a majority of yes votes in at least four of the six states.
The Indigenous senator said the referendum gave a platform to racists and her life was in danger after she was targeted by a neo-Nazi video.