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Liberal Senator speaks out against Scott Morrison’s planned indigenous referendum

Amid calls for indigenous recognition in the constitution, some politicians are warning it won’t help fix any of the serious social issues the community is facing.

The government has committed to a referendum on the matter within three years with Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt making the announcement on Wednesday.

But Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker tells Steve Price people should be focusing on practical solutions instead of “flowery words”.

“If people think that putting a few words in the constitution is going to solve that diverse bag of really serious but practical problems, they’re going to be very disappointed.

“We need to be doing practical things to help improve the living standards and the life outcomes of indigenous people.”

But she tells Steve there are actually other aspects of the constitution that could be changed to give indigenous Australians more rights.

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Steve Price weighed in on the debate, insisting we should be focusing on more prominent issues.

“No one actually does anything though about the appalling overrepresentation of young Aboriginal men, for example, in prison in the Northern Territory, or the disgraceful levels of domestic abuse in communities.

“No one ever does anything practical about those things that seems to work. 

“To me, it just entrenches division, all of this. Surely we are all Australians full stop.”

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Director of Indigenous Research at the Centre for Independent Studies Jacinta Price tells John Stanley although she’s “quite happy” for the constitutional recognition to go ahead, she doesn’t think it will solve every issue.

“We need practical measures, we need less symbolism because symbolism, while it makes us feel warm and fuzzy, doesn’t actually address any of the issues that we’re faced with on the ground.”

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