No campaigner Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has hit back after being accused of hating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by a prominent Yes campaigner.

Marcus Stewart, a Nira illim bulluk man of the Taungurung Nation, made the inflammatory statement in an interview with ABC News on Monday.

“We have a far-right politician in Senator Nampijinpa Price out there spreading lies, spreading mis and disinformation,” he told viewers.

“I don’t think I’ve come across anyone that hates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – or seems to hate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so much.

“What have we done wrong in this debate to simply ask for a better chance at life for our most vulnerable? That’s what we’re seeking here.”

Speaking with 2GB’s Ben Fordham Tuesday morning, Senator Price issued a scathing response, accusing Mr Stewart of attacking her because he felt threatened.

“What can I say? I’m used to powerful Aboriginal men personally attacking me when they feel like they’re on the backfoot and evidently that’s where Mr Stewart is at,” she said.

“I’ve had very little to do with Marcus Stewart apart from sitting across the chamber from his wife.”

Victorian ALP senator Jana Stewart is Mr Stewart’s wife.

Senator Price went further to accuse Mr Stewart of profiting from what she called the “Aboriginal industry” while being “completely removed” from the country’s most vulnerable.

“He has been part of the Aboriginal industry and done very well for himself,” she said.

Mr Stewart was also accused of feeling threatened because of a motion Senator Price put to the Senate calling for an investigation into how the First Nations Assembly for Victoria uses its funding.

“Because otherwise why would somebody in such a defamatory manner personally attack [me]?” she said.

“We’re having a referendum so if you can’t argue the case as to why Australians should vote Yes, don’t come after individuals and name call because that shows your lack of integrity and ability to argue your case.”

Senator Price advised Mr Stewart and his wife to “keep their personal attacks to themselves”.

When Mr Stewart spoke to ABC on Monday, he argued the rhetoric being pushed by the No campaign was “doing serious damage to our community”.

“Our kids are watching we can’t forget that,” he said.

He also argued against Senator Price’s claim that Welcome to Country ceremonies at events were “divisive”.

“A ceremony of Welcome to Country – something that was practised on these lands for thousands of years – is now according to the far-right politician Senator Nampijinpa Pric ‘divisive’,” he said.

“It’s a ceremony that brings us together.

“It’s a practice that has stood for thousands of years. That’s something we all celebrate and that we all love to be involved in.”

In an earlier comment to The Australian, Senator Price said the “performances” were not necessary.

“There is no problem with acknowledging our history, but rolling out these performances before every sporting event or public gathering is definitely divisive,” she said.

“Australians don’t need to be welcomed to their own country.

“It’s not welcoming, it’s telling non-Indigenous Australians ‘this isn’t your country’ and that’s wrong. We are all Australians and we share this great land.”


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By Rahul

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