9 Apr 2015

More Australian support for indigenous seats

9:01 pm on 9 April 2015

An Aboriginal leader in Western Australia is applauding a Tasmanian politician's call for dedicated indigenous seats, similar to those in New Zealand.

Independent Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has called for a national debate on the introduction of such seats to federal parliament and cites dedicated Māori seats in New Zealand as a good example.

Chairperson of the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, Michelle Nelson-Cox, said Ms Lambie continues to challenge the government about its treatment of indigenous Australians.

"Jacqui... she's got my support 100 percent and I'll back Jacqui any day of the week", Ms Nelson-Cox said.

"Jacqui has been very instrumental in putting a blockage in some of the decision making and the passing of billings that are going to have an oppressing affect on Aboriginal people".

Ms Nelson-Cox said there were other politicians, also non-indigenous, who stand up for the rights of tāngata whenua.

"And the other person I also want to acknowledge is Alanna McKeeman, she's our federal member over here in Western Australia.

"Now, these [are] two ladies from both sides of our country, who understand our significance as Aboriginal people and our values to our cultural obligations. They have been very instrumental in speaking on our behalf at the federal parliament."

Ms Nelson-Cox said the responsibility for funding remote Aboriginal Communities needs to be handed back to the federal parliament.