NITV News Interview with Myles Morgan

Release Date: 
22 July 2015
Media release
E&OE

Topics: constitutional recognition E&OE…

MYLES MORGAN:
Alan Tudge, thank you for joining us.

ALAN TUDGE:
G'day Myles.

MYLES MORGAN:
What's the idea behind the community conferences?

ALAN TUDGE:
This idea for community conferences came out of the meeting which the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader had with the 40 or so indigenous leaders a week or two ago up in Sydney. It was agreed that the way forward to progress constitutional change was to hold a series of constitutional conferences around the country. They will start within months, hopefully within months, if not weeks. We just need to iron out exactly how they are going to work, what the administrative structure will be before we can get going on them.

Through those conferences we want all Australians- indigenous Australians and non-indigenous Australians to have the opportunity to express their view to say which particular model they may prefer over another, and what their ambitions are from constitutional recognition.

From that we will gather the feedback and we'll be able to formulate a question and go from there.

MYLES MORGAN:
The fear is people can always express their views, but governments don't have to listen. Can people expect that from these conferences there is a realistic chance of significant change to the process or have the outcomes been pre-determined?

 

ALAN TUDGE:
No, the outcomes have not been pre-determined.

 

I think it's fair to say that there's probably four or five different models of constitutional change which have emerged over the last six to 12 months. Those models will be put together in a discussion paper which will be overseen by Ken Wyatt's Parliamentary Committee. That will provide some guidance for the conferences.

In essence through these conferences we're hoping to get some stronger views as to where people are sitting across each of the models because some models are very ambitious, while other models which have been proposed are more minimalist in change.

MYLES MORGAN:
Well in that light Alan Tudge, Pat Dodson and Noel Pearson have proposed there be some specific conferences to get a degree of consensus among indigenous peoples. What's the Federal Government's view on indigenous only conferences?

ALAN TUDGE:
Personally I think that has some merit. We're considering that and we're working through exactly what the conference structure will look like, where they'll go and what the composition will be of them. I actually do think that suggestion has merit.

MYLES MORGAN:
And if people want constitutional change to lead to treaties, what does the Government say to that Mr Tudge?

ALAN TUDGE:
I'm not sure if one leads to the other as such. It depends what people define by treaties. If by treaties you mean agreement between aboriginal people, aboriginal groups and the government, my view is those agreements are ongoing and will continue to occur independent of this process.

[ENDS]