By Ella Feinberg Large, Alicia Bolton
The compulsory Indigenous welcoming is no longer needed at official events because it is too politically correct, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu says.
The acknowledgment is used before every significant speech, noted by foreign dignitaries and is a sign of reconciliation but Premier Baillieu says it is too dictatorial.
Mr Baillieu said he will still acknowledge traditional owners at indigenous functions but with a new set of words.
Queensland Greens spokesperson for Indigenous Issues, Libby Connors, said she cannot understand how the premier of state could possibly be too politically incorrect.
Ms Connors said it is about getting beyond politics and committing to reconciliation by institutionalising and recognising the Indigenous contribution.
“That’s what reconciliation is about, saying we’re never going to go back again to try and exclude and marginalise them,” Ms Connors said.
QUT Guild Indigenous Officer, Laura-Jane Phoenix said if Queensland were to drop the acknowledgement like Victoria she would rally against it.
“It would be respectful to give us any sort of equal opportunity but the chances are we’re going to have to fight for that,” Phoenix said.
Phoenix said she is not surprised by the Liberal Victorian State Government but says it is ‘disgusting’.
“The little things that we do have, like acknowledgment to country which is the government essentially acknowledging what has happened to Indigenous people … to take that away is pretty much stepping on any tiny bits of rights we have left,” Phoenix said.
Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, previously said the protocol was Labor ‘tokenism’ and misplaced political correctness.