TRANSCRIPT – SKY NEWS, PAUL MURRAY LIVE

Subjects: Truth and Justice Commission, Queensland senate contest.

RITA PANAHI: 

Now if you think this year’s federal election doesn’t matter and the major parties are much of a  muchness then consider this: A Labor victory won’t just mean Albo is PM but will most likely see the  Greens secure the balance of power, and they are already listing their demands. Among them is the  so-called truth and justice commission, which will cost $250 million and oversee what they call an  Indigenous truth-telling process. To discuss this, I’m now joined by Senator Amanda Stoker.  

Senator, welcome to the Program.  

AMANDA STOKER: 

Hi Rita.  

RITA PANAHI: 

Labor have committed to the Uluru statement, promising to constitutionally enshrine a Voice to  Parliament, and they have committed to a truth-telling and treaty process. What is different about  what they’re proposing and what the Greens are proposing here? 

AMANDA STOKER: 

Well the short answer is nothing. They are precisely the same concept. And for those people who  haven’t followed the Uluru process blow-by-blow, the element of it that involves what people call  ‘truth’ is that there should be a permanent commission set up to hear the stories of Indigenous  people, not in the nature of history but in the nature of the collection of evidence for the correction  of a historical record, without it being the subject of evidence from people who might think  differently, without debate, without challenge, shall we say. And that that should be used as a kind  of 

RITA PANAHI:

Without scrutiny. 

AMANDA STOKER: 

It’s terribly frightening. 

And that that should be used as a way of reshaping culture so that we are much more focused on  some of the more self-flagellating aspects of what has happened in the past, instead of – and I think  this is the real point – focusing on what matters to make the lives of Indigenous Australians better now. There’s absolutely nothing that a commission like that will do to make the toddler in a remote  community safer. There’s nothing that a commission like this will do to keep an Indigenous woman safe from domestic violence in her community. It is indulgence of the grandest scale. But it is Greens  policy, and it is Labor policy – on the record. And I think we should treat with great suspicion any  project that is about re-writing history without the benefit of the full suite of experiences and  records that can help inform history.  

RITA PANAHI: 

Well this is worrying, because that is really going to re-shape how we see ourselves as a nation. And  yeah, the lack of scrutiny there sounds terrible. The outcomes are just going to be more division, and  like you said, not really helping the indigenous community where they desperately need that help. 

Now you personally are facing a real challenge in the upcoming election in Queensland. You’ve got  the Liberal Democrats, you’ve got One Nation, you’ve got the United Palmer Party, they’re all  coming for your voters Amanda. How do you see it, and are you going to get through? Because it  seems like the conservatives are really fractured, particularly in Queensland.  

AMANDA STOKER: 

Look, I can understand that it’s a competitive space, and there’s lots of minor parties that come out  of the woodwork to tell people exactly what they want to hear at any given moment, knowing they’ll  never have to deliver. They’ll never have to make the grown up decisions that a party of government  will have to do. Sometimes having to do the things necessary as a government means you can’t  always tell people exactly what they want to hear, and minor parties will exploit that as much as  they can.  

But there is one statistical fact that any disgruntled person from the centre-right should keep in  mind and never forget. That is that any time and every time that the centre-right has fractured,  because people have become disgruntled with those people on the Liberal National side – even if it  has been to go to a one nation type of group – it has only ever delivered that last senate spot to the  Greens. And the consequence in this election would be to give the balance of power to those with  the most extreme views in all of the Australian polity. That’s a pretty terrifying thing, and I hope that  the very smart Queenslanders will keep that in mind as they put pen to paper.  

RITA PANAHI: 

Well said Amanda Stoker. You should be number one on that ticket but you’re not. But I hope you  get through. Thanks for your time this evening.  

AMANDA STOKER: 

Thanks Rita.  

[END]