A group that believes in constitutional recognition, but not to the extent to back an Indigenous voice to parliament, has launched their official no campaign in Tamworth.
Headed by former Labor party national president and Liberal party candidate, Warren Mundine the “Recognise a Better Way Group” is one of several no campaigns launching against this year’s upcoming Indigenous Voice to parliament referendum.
Former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce who is involved with the campaign told the ABC on Friday that the government should be tackling the “circumstances” people have found themselves in regardless of race.
“I don’t think when you go to Alice Springs you say, well the reason it’s like this is because of the colour of their skin, you’d say it’s the circumstances in which they find themselves in, ” he said.
Joyce also warned that an Indigenous Voice to parliament would bring Australia backwards not forwards.
The campaign launch in Tamworth was fronted by One Nation Party Pauline Hanson and veteran broadcaster Alan Jones.
Speaking at the launch, Hanson said to the crowd that “black nationalist activists” were campaigning to have more rights than the vast majority of Australians.
A group of Gomeroi Yinarr women protested the event holding signs that read “racist clowns are not welcome on Gomeroi land.”
“Their words have real-life consequences and contribute to the ongoing racism faced by First Nations people in this country,” they said in a statement.
Gomeroi Yinarr woman Rachael Phillips was among the protestors and called the likes of Joyce and Hanson “divisive figures” and urged those still unsure on where they land on the referendum to seek the advice of Indigenous leaders.
“We need to stop letting people like Barnaby Joyce and Pauline Hanson [tell us] about what’s best [for] us,”
“People need to be informed with truth, and they’re going to be looking for Aboriginal leaders to guide people on how to vote and make an informed decision for themselves,” Ms Philips said.
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