News National Senator Lambie calls for indigenous-only seats in parliament
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Senator Lambie calls for indigenous-only seats in parliament

Jacqui Lambie wants to tighten up political donation laws
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Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie wants dedicated indigenous seats in federal parliament.

The rookie senator, who spoke of her Aboriginal heritage in her maiden speech to parliament, is calling for indigenous political representation to reflect the population.

Indigenous Australians make up about four per cent of the population, with 226 seats in both houses of parliament that would create about nine seats.

Senator Lambie said the move would create more indigenous focused debate and allow private members bills focusing on indigenous issues.

“These rights … over time will lead to practical outcomes and a closing of the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous disadvantage, she said.

The Tasmanian senator cited New Zealand’s Maori seats in parliament as evidence the policy would work.

New Zealand has Maori electorates, consisting only of Maori voters – however Maori can also choose to vote in general electorates.

It could make it easier for Senator Lambie to retain her seat in the upper house, being one of only three indigenous Australians in federal parliament.

However, her claims to be linked to the Mannalargenna people have been questioned by Aboriginal elder and direct descendant, Clyde Mansell.

Mr Mansell has challenged Senator Lambie to provide proof, which she says isn’t necessary.

Ken Wyatt became Australia’s first indigenous member of the House of Representatives in 2010.