Cynical Katter slams treaty “tick and flick”
Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has slammed the Palaszczuk Queensland Government for playing shallow “tick and flick” politics with the plight of First Australians, lashing the lack of Indigenous community consultation on Labor’s “landmark” Path to Treaty Bill.
Public hearings held by the Community Support and Services Committee into the Bill, promised by Labor to provide an opportunity to end “unfinished business” and “walk into a much brighter tomorrow”, have been underway this week.
However, the Committee, comprised of majority Labor MPs, is only visiting three out of Queensland’s 20 Indigenous communities.
All Gulf communities have been ignored, but Inala – which is the Premier’s electorate – has been included as the location of a public hearing.
A visit to Thursday Island on Tuesday also coincided with the Palaszczuk Government’s “cost of living summit” in the remote community, a coincidence Mr Katter said was symbolic of Labor “killing two birds with one stone”.
The Traeger MP said given the governmental fanfare around the Path to Treaty Bill being key to Indigenous and non-Indigenous reconciliation, the snubs were inexplicable.
He said the KAP was still considering its position on the Bill, but that these moves undermined his faith in the sincerity of the Government’s intentions.
“The KAP wants to express its extreme disappointment that out of the 20 Indigenous communities, the Committee reviewing and consulting on the Bill is only going to three – I would ask that this be reconsidered, even if the reporting date needs to be extended,” Mr Katter said.
“Last week, I attempted to have passed in the Queensland Parliament my Blue Card Bill which would have significantly improved job prospects and the self-determination capacity of these Indigenous communities.
“Labor refused to support me on this and now they’re not even engaging the First Australian communities on a Bill that is supposed to be central to them and their futures.
“I think that speaks to the sincerity of the Government’s real commitment to what these processes, the Path to Treaty as well as the Voice to Parliament at the Federal level, actually mean.
“It’s about the politics, not the practicalities of improving First Australian lives.
“I think it’s worth adding that Doomadgee, which is in my electorate, has been left off the consultation list even though it is amongst the most disadvantaged Indigenous communities in the country right now.
“They’ve been trapped by floodwaters for three months, they can’t afford fresh food and produce due to exorbitant grocery prices and there’s almost no availability of fuel – that’s their reality right now.
“How is the Path to Treaty or Voice going to help them?”
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