Division, division, division – that’s basically what this referendum is about. It’s been this since the beginning.
And this is the decision that Australians are going to have to make now on October 14.
Do we divide our country along the lines of race within our nation’s rulebook.
Do we divide our country within our Constitution.
The Prime Minister is suggesting that this is the only way forward to support our most marginalised Indigenous Australians.
At no point did he actually make reference to Indigenous Australians, who he claims this proposal is supposed to support going forward.
He made reference to corporates. He made reference to community groups, to faith groups.
But he didn’t make reference to the people that I represent, in my constituency, some of our most marginalised Indigenous Australians.
It is evident to me that this elite proposal is about division in our country and it is that old rule of divide and conquer, that I can’t stand for.
I’m not going to allow a line to run straight through the middle of my family, within our Constitution.
I don’t expect that to take place within our country to be treating Indigenous Australians differently to the rest of Australia because of our racial heritage.
You know, there’s so many times the Prime Minister references the referendum of 1967. That referendum came about with overwhelming support from Australians to bring about equality in our country, for Indigenous people through equality of citizenship, through education, through access to opportunity, like all other Australians.
We have created equality in this country.
It is wrong to suggest we have not had a voice.
Voices like mine, elected parliamentarians.
Voices like my good friend, Warren Mundine are speaking up.
We are telling this Prime Minister, our voices are relevant.
The voices of those Indigenous people in this country that we represent, we do not support this.
The voices of those who did not participate in the Uluru Dialogue have spoken up.
The Prime Minister is effectively ignoring us.
So to suggest that we have not had a voice is completely and utterly misleading.
And we will not allow for the Prime Minister, and this referendum to divide our country along the lines of race within our Constitution.
This is a transcript of Senator Nampijinpa Price’s press conference in Tasmania after the Prime Minister announced the date for the Voice referendum on Wednesday.