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AGAINST – Committees — Finance and Public Administration References Committee; Reference

Richard Colbeck

I, and also on behalf of Senators Liddle, Nampijinpa Price, McGrath and Thorpe, move:

That the following matter be referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting Thursday in November 2023:

The role, governance and accountability of key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative organisations, including land councils and native title bodies such as prescribed bodies corporate, with particular reference to:

(a) administrative, operational and governance arrangements to ensure accountability, risk mitigation, and transparency for present and future Traditional Owners, to protect their interests and deliver positive economic and social outcomes;

(b) the quality and effectiveness of consultation and engagement with Traditional Owners to ascertain their views, and opportunities for the views of Traditional Owners to be reflected in decisions of the organisations;

(c) how these organisations undertake their responsibilities to:

(i) negotiate on behalf of Traditional Owners,

(ii) manage and maintain an accurate register of members,

(iii) conciliate disputes, and

(iv) appropriately manage dissenting views;

(d) arrangements for commercial and lands trust activities;

(e) the extent to which administrative, operational and governance arrangements align with the principles contained in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with specific reference to the principle of free, prior and informed consent and other relevant principles and conventions;

(f) the extent to which these organisations are contributing to justice for First Nations people; and

(g) any other related matters.

Dorinda Cox

I seek leave to make a one-minute statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Dorinda Cox

I want to remind all senators that yesterday there were many conversations about the Voice to Parliament. For many First Nations people in this country under 40, this will be the first time they vote in a referendum, and this motion jeopardises the success of this referendum. It undermines the currency of the conversation that we're about to have. These cooked-up terms of reference are being used to overshadow what is the national conversation happening at the moment, using our public funding and Senate resources and procedures, which is not the function of this place. We will not be supporting this vicious attack on our peak organisations and grassroots organisations, and the Greens will be opposing this motion.

Richard Colbeck

COLBECK () (): I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave not granted.

Sue Lines

The question is that business of the Senate notice of motion No. 1, standing in the name of Senator Colbeck and other senators, be agreed to.

A division having been called and the bells being rung—

Lidia Thorpe

This is about dodgy deals that allow fracking in the Beetaloo. That's what it is.


Senator Thorpe, I am calling you to order, please.

Lidia Thorpe

Dodgy deals. Even my native title corporate is throwing us under the bus on logging.

Sue Lines


Honourable senators interjecting—

Order across the chamber. Order!

Honourable senators interjecting—

Senators, I have called order on numerous occasions.

Senator Nampijinpa Price!

Lidia Thorpe

You're saving the mining companies. That's all you're doing.

Sue Lines

Senator Thorpe! The question is that business of the Senate No. 1, standing in the names of Senator Colbeck and others, be agreed to.


Date and time: 4:13 PM on 2023-03-29
Senator Pocock's vote: No
Total number of "aye" votes: 29
Total number of "no" votes: 30
Total number of abstentions: 17

Adapted from information made available by