Should it be illegal for politicians to lie in campaign advertising? Dubbo Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Tatum Moore thinks so.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Asked why the failure of the Voice to Parliament referendum was so devastating that the NSW Aboriginal Land Council declared October 14 a second day of mourning, Ms Moore said the overwhelming 'No' vote was a win for "misinformation" and "fear mongering".
"It was confirmation of rejection to recognise our First Peoples and their voices. Its acceptance of the status quo; misinformation, fear mongering, racism and division won," she told the Daily Liberal in her first statement since referendum day.
"[There needs to be] stronger policies regarding misinformation and politicians lying. It should be illegal for politicians to lie."
Currently, federal electoral law only bans advertising and statements that mislead voters about the process of voting, with no laws prohibiting other false statements. But, in the wake of the referendum, there have been renewed calls to change this.
In a post-referendum survey by the Australia Institute, 87 per cent of respondents agreed that truth in political advertising laws should be in place in time for the next federal election campaign and only 4 per cent disagreed.
Seven in 10 respondents agreed they were concerned about lies and misinformation that circulated on social media during the referendum campaign.
Ms Moore said the referendum result also highlights the need for more "truth-telling and education" surrounding the history of First Nations people in schools and workplaces.
"There needs to be more work done surrounding cultural safety and cultural immersion in schools and workplaces, only until this is done, I think we will start to see a decline in racism," she said.
Reforming electoral laws isn't the only change Ms Moore would like to see.
She thinks there is a lot the federal government could do to improve outcomes for First Nations people, for instance, enacting the recommendations of the 1991 royal commission into deaths in custody and raising the age of youth incarceration to 14 years.
"I want the government to listen to our elders, traditional custodians and grass root community leaders regarding the issues, concerns, programs and services that affect our community, most of all we want real meaningful outcomes," she said.
"We don't want to continue being a tick a box."
While the referendum result was disappointing for Ms Moore, she said she doesn't regret going through the process and praised the Dubbo 'Yes' campaigners for their efforts.
"Despite the outcome it has strengthened and grown the movement for Indigenous rights, justice, and recognition," she said.
"I truly believe our local Dubbo Yes supporters provided a glimpse of how unifying the Voice would have been, seeing so many people of different ages, backgrounds, faiths and party affiliations accepting the Uluru statement from the heart invitation and all walking together towards a better future for our nation."
Ms Moore hopes the campaigners will use the result as "fuel for the fires within their bellies" to keep fighting towards better outcomes for Indigenous people.
"I ask our allies to continue to show up and march with us just as you did in the six weeks leading up to the Voice referendum," she said.
"Assist us in truth-telling, Listen to the First peoples of your community, they have the solutions. Find ways to help elevate our voices, get involved-work with us towards closing the gaps."
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.