A call for Anthony Albanese to clarify his position on a treaty with Indigenous Australians has been slammed as “another distraction”.

The Prime Minister and Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney have faced tense questioning on the floor of the house over the government’s commitment to a treaty.

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley, who has been leading the charge, accused the Mr Albanese of “wiggling around” the matter.

“Well, he has committed to implementing the Uluru Statement in full, which is voice, treaty, truth. He‘s committed to doing that in this term of parliament,“ she told Sky News on Thursday morning.

“He was wriggling around yesterday, both on radio and in the parliament, trying to draw some distinction between state government treaties (and) Commonwealth treaties.”

Ms Ley lashed Ms Burney for declining to answer questions about funding allocated to the Makarrata commission – a proposed body that would oversee the truth and treaty process of the Uluru Statement – claiming she “wasn’t up to the task”.

“We need good, sensible, reasonable explanations that actually explain what this means and how much it will cost,” Ms Ley said.

In recent days, the Coalition has used question time to press the government on the Voice to parliament, raising fears a treaty process will result in reparations.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton seized on reports that draft changes to Labor’s policy platform, due to be debated at the party’s national conference later this month, suggested the government would move on treaty in this term of parliament.

Mr Albanese stressed that state and territory governments were moving ahead with their own treaty processes when asked in an interview on Wednesday.

Ms Burney told the chamber on Wednesday that the Makarrata commission would not occur until after the referendum.

“Our priority is constitutional recognition through a Voice. Our priority is recognition, listening and getting better results,” she said.

“The 2023 referendum is an opportunity to advance reconciliation and move Australia forward for everyone.”

Assistant Minister Malarndirri McCarthy called the argument “another distraction” from the No campaign.

“We have had so many things thrown at us over the last six to eight months in the lead-up to this, and this is another distraction, really,” she told the Today show.

“When we look at what this message is all about in terms of the referendum and the question to the Australian people, it is about recognition.”

Meanwhile, Ms Ley defended Mr Dutton after Mr Albanese offered to travel with him to the Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land this weekend.

“I was very disappointed yesterday to see the Prime Minister politicising this important festival,” she said.

“This is not about an individual going to a particular festival on a particular day. It’s about the hard yards.”

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