Letter to The Editor - Privileging Them Constitutionally Would Be a Big Mistake
to THE AUSTRALIAN
There is a simple answer to a question asked in your editorial (‘Indigenous recognition steps outside Constitution’, 19/7) as to whether the Referendum Council’s first proposal (for a constitutionally entrenched Aboriginal advisory body) ‘would presage continued agitation for a treaty?’ Of course it would. Overseas experience in several countries shows that once the descendants of former native peoples are constitutionally privileged, their claims just multiply.
You state that Parliament should ‘take advice from indigenous citizens’. That would include all of us who were born here and have no other citizenship. Moreover, as most of those identifying as Aboriginal have mixed blood, it is hard to see why they deserve any more rights than the rest of us. Concern for Aboriginal welfare is admirable; but privileging them in any way constitutionally would be a big mistake.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic