Queensland’s opposition multiculturalism spokesman has told three Indigenous MPs not to rewrite history, but instead learn from it so the same mistakes are not repeated.
John-Paul Langbroek has taken umbrage at Communities and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch’s social media posts about the 1967 referendum on including Indigenous Australians in the census.
Mr Langbroek, who is a Dutch-Australian, said Ms Enoch’s posts about the 1967 vote granting Indigenous citizens citizenship were incorrect.
He warned Ms Enoch and fellow Indigenous MPs Cynthia Lui and Lance McCallum about their responsibilities as elected representatives.
“It’s just really important that when we’re leading, we need to make sure that we don’t rewrite history,” Mr Langbroek told parliament on Thursday.
“We learn from it and ensure that we don’t repeat its mistakes.”
His comments led to loud interjections from the government benches with Labor MP Nikki Boyd shouting “watch your white privilege”.
Mr McCallum also yelled out, while Ms Lui leaned back and rolled her eyes at Mr Langbroek.
Ms Enoch sat drawing pictures, ignoring the lecture from the Surfers Paradise MP.
Mr Langbroek continued to explain that the 1967 referendum did not give Indigenous Australians the right to vote or wage equality.
Mr Langbroek said the referendum actually allowed the federal government to make laws affecting Indigenous Australians.
He said they actually became citizens when the 1948 Nationality Act came into effect in 1949.
“I look forward to working with all members, and the three members opposite, to continue improving partnerships between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Mr Langbroek said.
Australian Associated Press
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