Dutton Backs Price in Opposition Split over First Nations Treaties


Peter Dutton, leader of the Opposition, has indicated that he firmly supports Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, a leading figure in the No campaign, as a divide becomes evident within the opposition party regarding treaties with First Nations communities.

Asserting his political stance unambiguously, Dutton stated that he is not in favour of treaty negotiations if the Voice proposal fails in the upcoming election and he secures power. Speaking to reporters in Melbourne, he conveyed his desires for resource allocation: “I want to see money spent on practical outcomes for Indigenous kids in remote and regional areas.”

Dutton voiced serious reservations about the financial implications of treaties. He criticized the potential for lawyers to reap substantial financial gains, and the lengthy negotiation period which could span two to three decades, deeming the whole process as completely unacceptable.

This firm stance from Dutton followed after Warren Mundine, a front runner for a recently vacated Liberal senate seat and another prominent No campaigner, expressed a contrary viewpoint on Sunday. When asked if treaties would be more probable if the referendum doesn’t pass, Mundine confirmed: “Yeah because then, on 15 October, if it is a no vote, that’s when the real work starts.” During his appearance on ABC’s Insiders, Mundine also put forward the suggestion of altering Australia Day’s date.

Earlier, trodding along a similar path with Dutton, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price declined a treaty with First Nations individuals during an event organized by The Australian. Senator Price argued against treaties, expressing the belief that a treaty couldn’t be made with one’s own citizens.

The ongoing No campaign has consistently attempted to link the treaty-making process with the Voice referendum. On Monday, Dutton once again tried to connect Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s endorsement for the referendum to the treaty-making process. In contrast, Albanese urged citizens to focus on the “proposed words” rather than the manipulated “fear campaign”. Drawing parallels with the same-sex marriage issue, Albanese recalled how no existing marriage was negatively affected by the legalization of marriage equality; rather, it granted identical rights to a marginalized group and was a progressive step.


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