29 August 2018

We asked for a Voice to the Parliament and we got a non-Aboriginal envoy

Aboriginal people have no need or desire for a special envoy for Indigenous Affairs, according to the nation's largest Aboriginal member-based organisation.

Chairman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, Cr Roy Ah See, said that like Mr Abbott, we question the value this role would add to the good work already being performed by Indigenous Affairs Minister, Senator Nigel Scullion.

"Minister Scullion has our confidence and support. He and the Prime Minister should be our envoys to Cabinet," Cr Ah See said.

"It is a surprising development, given backbencher Mr Abbott has commented this week that the portfolio of Indigenous affairs requires prime ministerial authority to get things done. it doesn't need people running around at the margins; it needs someone at the very top to cut through.

"We asked for a Voice to the Parliament so the Parliament could hear directly from us, and instead we got a non-Aboriginal envoy to interpret our needs and the solutions we bring. We need a direct voice, not another middle man."

Cr Ah See congratulated the Prime Minister on his election and said he looks forward to working with him and Minister Scullion as Co-Chair of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council.

"Additional layers of government at great additional expense is not what we need."

Media contact: Michelle Aleksandrovics on 0429 585 291