Federal government votes against having Indigenous flags flying in the Senate.
As Australia celebrates NAIDOC week, the federal government has voted down a motion to hang the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the Senate chamber.
Failing 29 to 28, Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the government thought the "only appropriate flag" to fly in the Senate was the Australian flag as it "represents all Australians."
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, a Yanyuwa woman, said "The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are also national flags. I appeal to the Senate, when we fly the flags out the front as we do this week, we have it on display for the whole of the country, in NAIDOC week, [for] an opportunity to show that we can unite our country."
NAIDOC week this year is running with the theme "always was, always will be," and celebrates the culture and achievement of First Nations people.
"May I remind you all that we are on stolen land? The Aboriginal flag represents the oldest continuing, living culture in the world," Senator Lidia Thorpe, a Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman, told the government.
Federal Parliament refuse to fly the Aboriginal Flag. Happy Naidoc week 🙄 vote happening now. LNP have absolutely no shame.— Lidia Thorpe (@lidia__thorpe) November 10, 2020