Politics with Michelle Grattan: Jacinta Price's parliamentary agenda

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Following her pre-selection victory, Alice Springs deputy mayor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price will now be the Country Liberal party’s Senate candidate at the election.

This essentially assures her of victory. The Northern Territory returns one Senate seat to each side of politics.

Price has made a name for herself already as a conservative Indigenous voice, critical of what she labels a paternalistic approach to Aboriginal autonomy. She is also well known for her advocacy work - bringing attention to high rates of domestic violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Her stances on a range of issues have made her a controversial figure within the broad Indigenous community.

In discussing her political agenda, Price highlights affording traditional owners the ability to create business opportunities and own homes on their own land.

“A lot of traditional owners, and in my own experience as a traditional owner, have not had the opportunity to be able to access their own country for economic development opportunities and, and/or have the opportunity to own their own homes.”

Price doesn’t consider constitutional recognition for Indigenous peoples a policy priority, favouring instead “practical measures that are going to generate outcomes.”

“I certainly don’t mind the idea of being recognised in our nation’s constitution[…][but] I’m more focused on the more immediate, practical issues, trying to provide outcomes for the betterment of Indigenous Australians, as opposed to, you know, symbolic gestures.”

Nor does she call herself “a fan of” the voice to parliament, a proposal which would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a say in law and policy affecting them.

“I think we do have Indigenous voices in parliament - I guess it’s upon them who have been there already to actually be doing a better job[…]if we need a voice to parliament, then clearly that’s saying something about the representatives who have been there already.”

“If we’re reaching for equality, true equality, then that means that Indigenous Australians be on the same footing as all other Australians”

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Additional audio

A List of Ways to Die, Lee Rosevere, from Free Music Archive.

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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