Anthony Albanese has been interrupted midway through a discussion on the Voice to parliament by an Indigenous man who expressed frustration over the advisory body.
The Prime Minister was appearing at The Daily Telegraph’s Bush Summit when the Muruwari man interjected.
“Not everybody at Uluru, and I was at Uluru, agreed with the reconciliation council about a Voice being first,” he yelled out.
“I am an Aboriginal person, I’m 61, I grew up in a tin humpy … I saw all my old people … go through alcoholism, go through all the pressures of colonisation.
“I don’t think the Voice to parliament is going to fix all those problems.”
The man expressed concern the body would be comprised of “Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton and all those other academics”.
“We want to be able to speak for ourselves … We want you to be able to sit down with us (the Muruwari nation).”
Mr Albanese told the man that he respected his view and understood that not every Indigenous Australian had the same view on the Voice.
“That is no more remarkable than the fact that everyone who happens to be in this room would have the same position about everything, or every South Sydney supporter votes Labor – although I suspect they do,” he said.
“At Uluru though, overwhelmingly, it was made up of delegates from different countries, and there were over 1000 discussions, consultations meetings in the lead-up to it.”
Mr Albanese stressed that he understood not one advisory body was going to overcome intergenerational disadvantage instantly.
“It will be elected by Indigenous people themselves … to make representations of Indigenous people to government,” Mr Albanese said.
“In my strong view, I agree with the request by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly that (it) will be a step forward.”
Mr Albanese noted the overwhelming majority of delegates at the Uluru Dialogue signed up to the Statement from the Heart.
“That doesn’t mean that everyone has the same position,” he added.
He pointed to the revered Yolŋu elder Yunupingu, who died earlier this year, and those who gathered at Garma – “those people aren’t academics from universities” – who are on the ground in communities and supported the advisory body.
Australians are expected to head to the polls to vote on the referendum in October.