The Coalition’s Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister has divided parliament with her comments on the impact of colonisation.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Thursday, Jacinta Nampijinmpa Price used her speech to re-state her opposition to the proposed Indigenous Voice to parliament.
Senator Price also said that British colonisation has not had a negative impact on First Nations people.
She said Indigenous-led advisory bodies and organisations aim to “demonise colonial settlement in its entirety and nurture a national self-loathing about the foundations of modern Australian achievement.”
The Guardian Australia asked for the senator to clarify her statements by asking if she believes there are any negative lasting impacts from British Imperialism.
“A positive impact, absolutely. I mean, now we have running water, readily available food,” she said.
Mrs Price’s elected counterpart Linda Burney says the comments were a “real betrayal.”
“There are many people I’ve spoken to last night, this morning, that are very distressed and quite frankly, pretty disgusted.
But I am going to focus on the goal here and that is a successful referendum.
It’s a real betrayal to the many families that have experienced things like Stolen Generations.
The idea that colonisation in any country doesn’t have long and far-reaching effects is simply wrong.”
Meanwhile Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has also criticised the comments, telling ABC Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas they are part of the ‘No’ campaigns tactic to move the referendum debate away from what Australia’s are being asked to vote on.
“The ‘No’ campaign strategy, Patricia, has been to ignore the proposal. It’s on the ballot paper to sow fear and division across our wonderful country, and talk about anything other than what’s on the ballot paper.
The official directions of the no campaign to volunteers is to ignore the facts.
Hide who you are, cause fear, cause alarm, never actually discuss the actual issue on the ballot paper.
And we need to get back to what we’ve got to do in four weeks’ time.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton Spoke on Channel Nine’s Today program on Friday to defend Mrs Price’s Comments.
“We either accept that people have a broad range of views, or we don’t.
The left just say, well, we can only listen to people like Marcia Langton, but people on the right, like Jacinta Price, we can’t listen to.
I would recommend you to go and have a look at the full speech in the question and answer session that she had yesterday, because you’ve got somebody on display who is brave, prepared to stand up for what she believes in and believes passionately about making the better society for Indigenous Australians.”