NT Federal Politicians Jacinta Price, Marion Scrymgour Highlight Indigenous Policy Failures in First Speeches

The Northern Territory’s two incoming federal politicians delivered powerful first speeches, highlighting a “broken” system and conditions facing Aboriginal people that would not be accepted elsewhere in Australia.

Senator Jacinta Price, a Warlpiri-Celtic woman, said she wanted to work for positive change in tackling the situation of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.

“I don’t know where else in Australia a federal MP can give a tour of the many places where their immediate family members have been violently murdered or died from alcohol abuse, suicide or alcohol-related accidents,” she said.

“It’s not good enough that [Aboriginal] children have witnessed or been subjected to normalized alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and sexual violence throughout their young lives.

Jacinta Price’s Walpiri grandmother presents her with a nulla nulla in the Senate courtyard. (Delivered: Sky News)

Senator Price outlined one of her goals in federal politics to “end the senseless virtue signaling and focus on the solutions that bring real change, changing the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens”.

“Solutions that give them real life,” she said.

Mrs. Price had served as Deputy Mayor of Alice Springs before running for Senate.

Member for Lingiari Marion Scrymgour, an Aboriginal woman whose mother was from the Tiwi Islands and father of a member of the Stolen Generations from Central Australia, said the start of her role in the Federal Parliament was “sad”.

“I am essentially going to be part of the same government that appointed both my parents as guardians of the state – the ‘state’ is the Commonwealth of Australia,” she said.

A medium close-up of a woman looking past the camera, speaking, in front of a bushland background.
Ms Scrymgour’s seat in Lingiari has the highest percentage of Indigenous people of all voters in Australia.(ABC News: Xavier Martin)

Ms Scrymgour became the first Indigenous woman ever elected to the Northern Territory Parliament in 2001 and then took on the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

Both Senator Price and Ms Scrymgour have addressed recent concerns about alcohol policy in the Northern Territory after alcohol restrictions were lifted in many remote communities earlier this month.

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