treaty

Albo Wants a Treaty

26 July 2023

3.6 MINS

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wants a treaty, not just a Voice to Parliament. But he doesn’t want Australians to know about it.

With the ‘Yes’ vote for the Voice to Parliament still lagging in the polls, another series of revelations threatens to scuttle the Labor Government’s divisive referendum.

This time, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese himself is caught in the crossfire.

Fortunately, the Australian PM is not a closet Communist — which is more than can be said for two of his most prominent Voice campaigners who made news headlines in recent months.

(No joke: Voice advisers for Mr Albanese Thomas Mayo and Teela Reid have both openly expressed sympathies for Communism).

No, Albo isn’t a Communist but he does want a treaty — a fact he has recently tried to bury and keep from the public.

What is a Treaty and Why is it Controversial?

A treaty is a binding agreement that will recognise the inherent sovereignty of Aboriginal Australians and will set out the terms of their relationship with the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Uluru Statement, upon which the Labor Government has premised its upcoming referendum, calls for a treaty in addition to a Voice to Parliament. “Voice, Treaty and Truth” are considered the three pillars of the Uluru Statement, which was released in May, 2017.

Among the many reasons a treaty remains unpopular among Australians is that it would almost certainly include financial compensation, reparations and the return of land. Further division and resentment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is another highly predictable result.

The Prime Minister’s Denials

The Prime Minister’s clandestine desire for a treaty came under intense scrutiny when he clashed with radio host Ben Fordham on Sydney’s 2GB last week.

“I just say to you and I say to your listeners, read the question you are going to be asked about. It’s not about treaty, it’s not about compensation. It’s just about listening in order to get better governance,” Mr Albanese told Ford during their heated exchange.

“I can’t say it any clearer, compensation has nothing to do with what people will vote on later this year,” the Prime Minister insisted.

“This is not about a treaty,” Mr Albanese asserted again and again during the interview.

Wary that Mr Albanese was hiding his true intent for the referendum, Fordham continued his line of questioning: “I’m talking about after that [the Voice]. There are three stages, after we go through the Voice is it natural to assume after we go through the Voice?”

Again, the Prime Minister issued a denial, claiming, “No, it’s not natural” to assume a treaty will follow a “Yes” at the referendum.

Albo’s Dirty Laundry

In the days since the interview, Mr Albanese’s dirty laundry has been aired for all to see.

The Daily Mail shared a video from October 2022 when the Prime Minister wore a “Voice, Treaty, Truth” T-shirt to a Midnight Oil concert — a band that staunchly supports the Uluru Statement in its call for both a Voice to Parliament and a treaty.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke with Ben Fordham this week and lambasted the current PM for his dishonesty.

“The very first thing he said the night he won the election was to acknowledge country and to reiterate the Labor Government’s commitment to the Uluru Statement in full… In other words, voice, treaty, truth,” Abbott told the radio host.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has tweeted an array of evidence for Mr Albanese’s treaty ambitions. In one tweet, she asks, “If his Voice has nothing to do with treaty then why did the Final Report of the Referendum Council say ‘Any Voice to Parliament should be designed so that it could support and promote a treaty-making process’?”

In another, Ms Hanson warned, “Wait until people see his tweets,” along with screenshots dating back to 2020 in which Mr Albanese expresses support for a treaty.

Indeed, in years past, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese himself was explicit about his hope for a treaty. “The voice is the bedrock upon which we must build. I want a voice and truth, then treaty, to be part of our national journey and our national life,” he wrote in 2021.

When the Prime Minister was asked in May if the Voice would lead to a treaty and truth-telling, he said: “They are very much a part of the next phase, if you like”.

Mr Albanese’s partner Jodie Haydon has also promoted the Uluru Statement via her LinkedIn account, in posts that have since been deleted.

Mr Albanese’s Legacy

As far back as 2015, Australians strongly supported Indigenous recognition in the Constitution, with 73 per cent of those surveyed either agreeing or strongly agreeing with the proposal, then floated by the Abbott Government.

Largely due to its division of Australians along racial lines, a separate Voice to Parliament has remained controversial. A treaty has been even less appealing to the Australian public, which explains Albo’s eagerness to hide his intent for a treaty.

But for the leader of a nation with low tolerance for fakery, Mr Albanese’s attempt to hide his true feelings is disingenuous. It is especially vexing from a man who claims to value “truth-telling”.

But the Prime Minister has made his bed and now must lie in it.

If Australians vote “Yes”, we will have a nation officially divided by race. And due to Labor’s framing of the issue, if Australians vote “No” — which it appears likely they will — we will have a nation that stands accused of racism by its own government.

Not a great legacy for a Prime Minister.

National unity would have been a far greater pitch.

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One Comment

  1. Ian Moncrieff. 26 July 2023 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    “Be sure your sin (of trying to deceive the Australian populace) will find you out” – The Bible in Numbers 32 v 23.
    Or as someone accurately said a long time ago, “Your chickens have come home to roost”.
    Your closing comment “National unity would have been a far greater pitch”, is the better tune.

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