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Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Page: 397

Senator THORPE (Victoria) (16:23): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to table an explanatory memorandum relating to the bill.

Leave granted.

Senator THORPE: I table an explanatory memorandum and seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, known as the UNDRIP, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007.

The UNDRIP is historic, it is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world, and not just First Nations people of this continent we now call Australia.

The UNDRIP establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of First Nations people, and also expands on existing human rights and freedoms as they apply to Indigenous peoples worldwide and to First Nations people of this continent.

The UNDRIP is particularly significant because First Nations people of this continent, Elders, academics and activists, were involved in its drafting.

Despite this country endorsing the UNDRIP in 2009, and committing at international forums to take actions to implement the UNDRIP and promote the equal enjoyment of all rights for our people, we have seen no meaningful action.

The Australian Government has failed to implement the UNDRIP into law, policy and practice across all levels of government.

The Australian Government has failed to negotiate with First Nations people on a fully funded, timely National Action Plan to implement the UNDRIP into Australian law.

The Australian Government has failed to audit existing laws, policies and practice for compliance with the UNDRIP.

The Australian Government has failed to ensure that when new legislation is introduced to this place, it must have a statement of compatibility with human rights including UNDRIP - currently this does not happen.

The Australian Government has identified the Closing the Gap Strategy as its key policy platform to give effect to the Declaration. However, most of the measures under the Strategy are woefully lacking in ambition and despite this, most are not on track to be met at all.

Our people have waited enough. All we have received are broken promises, lip service, and straight up lies.

We are not willing to wait anymore, we are dying at the hands of a racist system.

We are strong and capable. We are strong despite this racist system and the injustices it pushes us to.

First Nations people and land were stolen.

Aggressive policing of our children, control on what we can spend our pensions on, and discrimination when applying for jobs.


We demand that the Australian Government provide to us a timeline on fully implementing the UNDRIP into the laws, policies, procedures, and practices of this continent.

We need your solidarity, we are calling on the people of this country to back us.

We've got this - but back us - we've waited long enough.

I expect to see an action plan on implementing UNDRIP from the Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of my Bill.

Senator THORPE: I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.