Anthony Albanese has signalled for the first time that the government is still planning to pursue two key requests in the Uluru Statement from the Heart following the defeat of the Voice.
In his Closing the Gap statement to Parliament on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that the Federal government will ‘take the time to get Makarrata and truth telling right’.
Makarrata and truth-telling are the remaining aspects of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which sought ‘Voice, Treaty and Truth’.
A Makarrata commission – which is named after the Indigenous Yolgnu word meaning ‘coming together after a struggle’ – would seek a treaty between the federal Government and the First Nations community. The government outlaid $27.7million in the last Budget for such a commission.
The ‘culmination of the agenda’ is actually a ‘Makarrata Commission’ which would seek a treaty between the government and First Nations communities
Meanwhile, ‘truth-telling’ involves a process where Australia will confront its history of colonial conflict and dispossession.
Mr Albanese acknowledged the defeat of the Voice referendum in his speech and said his government would respect the result.
But he added: ‘The government remains determined to move reconciliation forward and seek better results for Indigenous Australians.’
‘As we take the time needed to get Makarrata and truth-telling right, the work of Treaty goes on at a state and territory level.
‘It will be a diversity of processes reflecting the diversity of First Nations across the continent.’
He said the government would respond to those processes.
Mr Albanese (pictured with his partner Jodie Haydon) acknowledged the defeat of the Voice referendum in his speech and said his government would respect the result
It would also focus on its responsibilities on closing the gap, self-determination and tangible outcomes in jobs, housing, education and justice.
Every state voted No to the Voice to Parliament proposal last October, with only the ACT voting Yes.
Labor has been criticised for failing to move forward on Indigenous policy after the failure of the Voice. That’s despite having $27.7million set aside from the last Budget to tackle a Makarrata Commission.
The Makarrata Commission was designed to progress both treaty and truth-telling at a federal level, but was stalled during the Voice campaign amid concerns about what a treaty – or treaties – could look like in practice.
Work on the commission remains paused while the government recalibrates and seeks advice on the next steps.