Is anyone attending to Indigenous Affairs at the ALP?

For the last couple of days this blog writer has been trying to find out a definite ALP policy position from Jenny Macklin’s office (the ALP’s Shadow for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation) on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Howard Government voted against this important landmark for indigenous affairs and the ALP has been reported as saying that it would ratify the Declaration if elected.

The best I could get from the Office of the ALP Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs was a media monitor reprint of an article in The Australian which quoted Jennie Macklin. When pressed the message from her office was:

“We didn’t necessarily need to put a media release, out – Labor’s clear and simple position that we will ratify the UN declaration on Indigenous rights was stated in the article. That is our policy.”

Oh yeah, great, but pathetic! There was an extremely brief media release to counter Mad Mal’s position (attached) . Is anyone in the Kevin 07 team actually seriously engaged with these crucial issues at this time? Doesn’t look like it.

media release
jenny macklin mp

INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES – THE FACTS

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough is simply scaremongering.

The facts are:
• This is not a binding document.
• This is a statement of in-principle support by the international community for improving the lives of Indigenous people and their children.
• Australian law would always come first.

More info: Moksha Watts 0409 774 266 15 September 2007