‘Grubby wedge politics’: Premier’s surprise Indigenous Voice motion sparks furore

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has accused Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of “grubby wedge politics” for springing a Queensland Parliamentary motion supporting the inclusion of an Indigenous Voice to the Federal Parliament in the Australian Constitution.

Nov 29, 2022, updated Nov 29, 2022
Opposition leader David Crisafulli. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Opposition leader David Crisafulli. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Several high-profile Labor MPs and ministers, including Palaszczuk spoke in favour of the Albanese Government proposal, with some pressuring Crisafulli to declare his position in the wake of the federal Nationals rejecting the concept on Monday.

The Palaszczuk government’s motion also came days after the LNP State Council reportedly backed a resolution advising the Federal Coalition to oppose the proposal when it gets put to a referendum expected next year.

Reading from a report in The Australian newspaper as she proposed the motion on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, Palaszczuk said only a “small number of representatives” at the meeting opposed the resolution among the more than 200 State and Federal MPs and party officials who attended in closed sessions.

“Today is an opportunity for the Leader of the Opposition and those opposite to take a stand,” Palaszczuk said.

Crisafulli avoided the Premier’s challenge, while objecting to the timing of the government’s motion, which was ultimately passed.

“The Premier has said she doesn’t want to see anything that seeks to divide and yet we get this motion and the Opposition isn’t even given one minute’s notice,” he said.

“If the Premier was really looking for a unified position and looking for this parliament to send a clear message, could this not have been done in a spirit of cooperation?”

Crisafulli said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had worked diligently to build consensus, but Palaszczuk and her Labor team had resorted to “grubby wedge politics” to score cheap points.

Crisafulli indicated in his response that like the federal Nationals leader, Queensland-based Maranoa MP David Littleproud, he and his LNP members were more interested in seeing tangible improvements delivered for Indigenous people rather than engaging in symbolic constitutional amendments.

“This Parliament should come in here and with every ounce of effort we should determine the things that we can control for our Indigenous communities and get them right,” he said.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the LNP’s reaction to the motion was a “disappointment”.

“Those opposite can’t even come in here and tell Queenslanders whether they support a voice or not,” Miles said.

“They are too afraid to say what they really think so we get three minutes of guff from the Leader of the Opposition, with no spine, no strength and no leadership.”

One of the Palaszczuk Government’s three Indigenous MPs, Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch, said accepting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which called for the Indigenous voice to federal parliament, was key to creating a treaty that would help heal the pain from Australia’s colonial history.

“It is an invitation to walk with First Nations people, towards voice, towards treaty, towards truth so that we can overcome the untruths that we have been living with all these decades,” she said.






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