8 March, 2023
Katter Party to oppose Voice
KATTER’S Australian Party says it will not support the Indigenous Voice to Parliament because it will not resolve the issues being experienced by First Australians in rural and remote communities.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the party could not support the “separatist, tokenist and paternalist” agenda sought by the Voice and some of its supporters and believed Australia’s strength lay only in its unity.
Mr Katter said First Australians were the original custodians of the land and must be considered equal to their fellow countrymen and women in every way.
He said it was to Australia’s shame that it took so long for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be recognised in the Constitution, having only been provided a national right to vote in 1967.
“The events of our past have seen us, the Australian people, build one of the most successful civilisations the world has ever known,” Mr Katter said.
“We must use an understanding of our past, good and bad, to move forward and continue to build prosperity, security and the Australian way of life for generations to come.
“We are not convinced that the Voice to Parlia-ment – and the ensuing arguments around Treaty, sovereignty and self-determination – are occurring in the spirit of unity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
“Instead, these agendas serve only to divide us and the KAP will not participate in that.”
Mr Katter said the KAP was genuinely committed to assisting First Australians.
“The issues facing First Australians, particularly in rural and remote communities, are extreme - intergenerational poverty, welfare dependency, joblessness, high rates of violence and crime and shocking health outcomes and mortality rates – none of these problems require a Voice to Parliament to address,” he said.
“Whilst our politicians and parliaments are imploding over the tokenistic Voice debate – our First Australians are suffering – it is the ultimate distraction.
“This is a national shame, and I would challenge anyone pedalling the Voice as a solution to these crises to visit Doomadgee, Alice Springs or Aurukun to explain just how their lives will be changed should it get through.”