Aborigines in Australia to launch political party

Organisers said the party, to be called Your Voice, was born out of frustration at government policies and the continued marginalisation of indigenous people. Your Voice is thought to be the country’s first national Aboriginal party.


Australia’s aborigines have formed their own political party.

Organisers said the party, to be called Your Voice, was born out of frustration at government policies and the continued marginalisation of indigenous people.

The new party is yet to be officially registered but it is planning to field candidates in the next federal election, expected later this year.

Those behind the new party hope it will be a seed from which the campaign for greater rights for indigenous Australians will grow and flourish.

Your Voice is thought to be the country’s first national Aboriginal party.

Black Australians have for many years complained about a lack of political representation. Very few have ever been elected to state or federal parliaments.

Your Voice was launched at a rally attended by around 500 people in Melbourne. Among the crowd were members of ATSIC, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

ATSIC, Australia’s biggest and most important indigenous body, is to be scrapped by the government.

Ministers have insisted it has failed to address the problems of native communities.

But critics of the move have said ATSIC’s abolition leaves indigenous people with no effective voice to help shape national policy.

A recent parliamentary report said Aborigines are the most socially and economically deprived group in Australia. It found that half of all indigenous people relied on some form of welfare payment to survive.

Author: Phil Mercer

News Service: BBC

URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk