Liberalism can help Indigenous aims :Bragg

·1-min read

A new book by Senator Andrew Bragg argues the liberal side of politics can take the lead on Indigenous advancement, even though liberalism "wasn't designed" for Indigenous people.

Buraadja: The Liberal Case for Reconciliation, to be launched on Monday, is the senator's response to the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.

"Some liberals think liberalism and Indigenous affairs are in permanent conflict," he writes in an extract published in The Australian on Saturday.

"The truth is liberalism can work for Indigenous people."

The statement, released four years ago in May, called for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous advisory body and a commission to oversee treaty-making and truth-telling.

The coalition is working on a design for an Indigenous voice to government, which would be consulted on laws but would not be cemented in the constitution.

But the book makes the case for constitutional reform, as well as the establishment of a new national public holiday on 27 January.

Although this goes beyond the coalition's current stance, Senator Bragg seeks to reassure the liberal movement that the statement is "a far cry from the extremes of Black Lives Matter".

He says any juxtaposition with the movement has been "disingenuously amplified", by those who believe the statement is "fundamentally illiberal".

The senator argues that liberalism only works if "everyone is given an equal chance", saying the foundational offence of liberal Australia was building the nation on the back of Indigenous displacement.

Buraadja: The Liberal Case for Reconciliation will be launched virtually in Sydney on Monday with Rachel Perkins.

Buraadja means tomorrow in the Dhurga language of the Yuin people.