Thursday, 30 Nov 2023

Liberals accused of flirting with far-right fringe after Sky News Australia show where Indigenous voice compared to apartheid

Liberals accused of flirting with far-right fringe after Sky News Australia show where Indigenous voice compared to apartheid


Liberals accused of flirting with far-right fringe after Sky News Australia show where Indigenous voice compared to apartheid

The attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, has accused the Liberal party of flirting with "the far-right fringe" of the referendum debate after the shadow minister, Michaelia Cash, appeared on a Sky News program where the host drew comparisons between the Indigenous voice and apartheid.

Cash, the shadow attorney general, responded that she did not endorse the comparison and said a ticker that ran on the screen during her interview did not reflect her view on the voice.

Cash appeared on Sky News on Sunday night on a program hosted by the former Liberal senator Cory Bernardi. He claimed the government's proposal would "divide us along racial grounds".

"If we put the voice into the constitution, to my mind, we're effectively announcing an apartheid-type state, where some citizens have more legal rights or more rights in general than others. Everything else, as far as I'm concerned, is window dressing until a voice is defeated," Bernardi said in an opening preamble before introducing Cash for an interview.

Following his opening, Bernardi asked Cash whether the voice would delay parliamentary processes. Sky ran a ticker along the bottom of the screen claiming "the voice will create an apartheid state", a reference to South Africa's policy of racial segregation which barred black citizens from using the same facilities as white citizens or buying land in white areas.

Cash replied that the government should "come clean" about what rights the voice would be given.

"Cory, you summed it up in one. Mr Albanese is asking the Australian people to put in place a constitutional right to make representations for a very small group of people in Australia, less than 4% of the population, to make representations to the parliament, and to the executive on any matter that concerns them," she said.

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