Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Opposition Whip) (13:42): Last weekend just on 79 per cent of the people of Grey voted ‘no’ in the referendum. In that message they voted for equality in the eyes of the law in Australia, and encompassed in that is that Australians should also have an equal opportunity. We need to address disadvantage where it occurs, and I think that’s the clear message here. I note that 37 per cent of Indigenous people are in the bottom quintile of Australia’s incomes, the bottom 20 per cent. Most of those live in remote and very remote Australia, so clearly that is where the disadvantage sits and where we need to address it.
That’s why I was appalled, I would have to say, this morning when the government, the Greens and the teals knocked back the concept of a royal commission into child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities. They also knocked back an audit on spending of Indigenous programs and support for the idea that we should reach out to the Indigenous Australians to close the gaps. This is an opportunity in the wake of the decision of the Australian people to actually make a real difference. This proposal has been around since April. It was put forward by Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, and to see it knocked back this morning is a disgrace.