Politics

Indigenous MP Linda Burney Has Given Tony Abbott A Serve Over His New Role As Indigenous Envoy

"The last thing Indigenous affairs needs is Tony Abbott blundering around."

Indigenous Labor MP Linda Burney has blasted Tony Abbott over his new role as special envoy on Indigenous affairs, calling his track record in the area “disastrous”.

Abbott was given the newly created job by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in what has widely been seen as a calculated gesture designed to stop ol’ Onions McGee from trying to bring down the government again. But Burney was seriously unimpressed with the appointment.

“The prime minister has an Indigenous Advisory Council, an Indigenous Affairs Minister, an Indigenous person, Ken Wyatt, in his cabinet, and there are three other First Nations people within the Parliament,” Burney told SBS News on Wednesday. “The last thing Indigenous affairs needs is Tony Abbott blundering around in that space.”

Burney also spoke about the issue on ABC Radio, where she said there had been “a real move towards paternalism” during Tony Abbott’s Prime Ministership, as well as “a move away from involving Aboriginal people in decisions that affect the lives of Aboriginal people”.

“Under Tony Abbot’s Prime Ministership, we saw half a billion dollars taken out of the Aboriginal affairs budget … taking half a billion dollars away from the poorest, most vulnerable, sickest people in the country,” she said.

“If Tony Abbott wants to have a job, he might want to focus on implementing the Uluru statement from the heart, and putting an Aboriginal voice to the Parliament,” she added.