News National Labor pledges to end Coalition’s ‘cruel’ Indigenous policies

Labor pledges to end Coalition’s ‘cruel’ Indigenous policies

Aboriginal birth certificates
Labor will put Aboriginal senator Pat Dodson in charge of indigenous affairs. Photo: ABC Photo: ABC
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The man Labor wants to be the first indigenous Australian to serve as indigenous affairs minister says his party will reset the relationship with First Nations peoples.

Senator Pat Dodson said a succession of Liberal prime ministers had kept indigenous communities down with a series of cruel policies.

WA’s Pat Dodson wants regional Aboriginal assemblies to empower Aboriginals and their communities. Photo: Getty

“Labor will reset this relationship. Our new programs will be set with First Nations leadership, across the country,” Senator Dodson told Labor’s campaign launch in Brisbane on Sunday.

“We will work with First Nations on the principles of co-design and free, prior and informed consent.”

Senator Dodson said Labor will build a framework of regional assemblies, where First Nations peoples are empowered to make decisions, identify priorities, and sponsor solutions.

Labor is also promising to create a Voice to Parliament, and also deliver constitutional recognition of indigenous people.

“We want to be the party of choice for First Nations peoples,” Senator Dodson said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has promised Senator Dodson will be indigenous affairs minister in his government, making him the first First Nations person to hold the role.