The first words of Prime Minster Anthony Albanese’s victory speech following the 2022 Federal election were these:
“I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging. And on behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.”
Does he know who the aboriginal inhabitants of that region were two hundred and fifty years ago? How many of the “elders past, present and emerging” has he met and does he know by name? Without any contact with history and with real people, the opening of his speech smacks more of trying to look virtuous than of any genuine attempt to grapple with the issues that plague remote aboriginal communities.
The Prime Minister committed the Labor Party, and the Federal Government led by him, to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. “The Voice” is the first step in this process. It is important that he, and all Australians who are called to vote or have a say in how this is done, be aware of what the statement is, and what specific policy proposals it contains.
Mr Albanese has repeatedly claimed in response to questions, that the Statement is a single A4 page document. This claim has been dutifully reported by a largely compliant media. But it is simpy false. The single A4 page document is an executive summary, largely cleansed of more alarming demands including rent, reparation, control over property development, and a treaty.
The full, multi-page Uluru Statement from the Heart can be downloaded and read here:
The larger part of this document is minutes and proposals made by various bodies in meetings around Australia. It is worth reading through these with care. Proposals include, for example, that a future treaty must allow for:
- Land and sea rights
- A fixed percentage of Gross Nation Product. Rates/land tax/royalties
- Right to self determination
- Timeline to achieve
- Aboriginal control
The actual Uluru Statement from the Heart is document 14 in this collection. It begins on page eighty-seven. The present government is committed to implementing this statement in full. Read it.