Northern Territory Senator Jacinta Price says a Voice to Parliament could be the government’s way of “handballing” off the hard issues.
“The more I think about this idea of a Voice, the more I feel like it’s the government’s opportunity to handball the difficult Indigenous issues,” Ms Price told Sky News.
“If they (the Voice) come back with something that we like, we might tick it off, otherwise, we don’t need to take that advice anyway.”
Ms Price said parliamentarians needed to take responsibility for their constituents themselves, noting Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth’s visit to Cape York as an example of what should be done.
“Minister Rishworth didn’t need a Voice, because she’s been on the ground, in town camps; women have been telling her what they need,” she said.
“She’s been told.”
Ms Rishworth has been speaking with the Family Responsibilities Commission in Cape York about the future of cashless debit cards after Indigenous leaders from the area called on her to rethink Labor’s pledge to dump the card.
The cards, which were introduced by the Coalition in 2016, operate like a regular bank card, but cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products.
Cape York Institute founder Noel Pearson has said scrapping the card would ruin two decades of progress and reforms in Cape York, where alcohol fuelled violence has been an issue for years.
Ms Price agreed, saying cashless debit cards were working “very effectively” in the NT.
She said removing them would “rip the rug out” from vulnerable Australians.
The Coalition Senator, who was sworn in at the last election, also called out schools and universities for “indoctrinating” young people on Indigenous history after a primary school was caught teaching six-year-old children about genocide.
“I’m sure a kid at that age doesn’t even know what the word genocide means,” Ms Price said.
“When you’re that young, you’re very easily manipulated … and you’re just more concerned with being a kid.”
Ms Price said it is a “huge letdown” that schools and universities are “pushing indoctrination of this kind of racial division”.
“It applies racism in the name of trying to stamp out racism,” she said.
“It doesn’t create understanding; it makes them feel bad about who they are based on the colour of their own skin.”