It is best we all sing from the same sheet of music

Today in The Australian

That indigenous Australians lived on this continent for thousands of years before European settlement is a fact whose recognition in the preamble to the Constitution is long overdue.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to It is best we all sing from the same sheet of music

  1. Dr Fred Lenin

    Can a government elected by the citizens of a country legally make a Treaty with other citizens of the same country ? The queation in any referendum must be a straight Yes or No no ambiguity or legalese obfuscation none of this “when did you stop beating your wife “ type crap .
    Are you in favour of making all citizens who claim to be aboriginal superior and apart from all other citizens ? YES OR NO

  2. C.L.

    One treaty, Fred?
    Do keep up.
    There are now calls for up to 300 treaties.

    https://twitter.com/RealMarkLatham/status/1151442694155038720

  3. teamv

    Spot on CL.

    As we saw with the adani native title issue, even in the same local area you have factional issues with opposing ideas so there is no way you could get a national agreement.

  4. tombell

    have we defined who an “aboriginal person” is yet?

  5. Muddy

    One important step is acknowledge and compensate for, our massive cultural appropriate of indigenous place names: Rename every single town or natural feature that has been inspired by the local indigenous language, and provide back royalties for 250-odd years of breach of I.P.

  6. Muddy

    If our indigenous superiors invented sheet music, we’ll have to financially compensate them for that theft also.
    And bagpipes.

  7. mh

    It is best we all sing from the same sheet of music?

    WTF are you talking about?

  8. Muddy

    Would singing from the same sheet of music imply we are a choir?
    Diversity is not such a good thing for a choir, right?

  9. Rex Mango

    Incredible over the past thirty odd years, to watch South Africa dismantle apartheid as Australia incrementally introduces it.

  10. Dr Fred Lenin

    CL I dont even try to keep up with the leftist divisive bullshit mate ,better things to do with my time .
    I know the real ones were here for 40,000 to 56 million years ago ,eating dinosaurs were they ?
    I have lost track of the number of genders there supposedly are 46 or so .
    Im old fashioned ,abiriginals are black , people they were when I worked with them ,anyone else was “rubbish yellafella “ , and chromosomes dictate gender xx is female who bear the young and xy is male who fertilise the eggs .thats it , nature likes siplicity , if you get your testicles cut off you are neuter ,wonder how they adress transgenders in Romance languages ,thet dont have neuter gender .?

  11. a happy little debunker

    The descendants of the 2nd & 3rd wave of immigrants to Australia want special recognition & ultimately reparations from the descendants of the refugees that made up the 4th and 5th wave of immigrants

    If I am gonna have to dance – it won’t be to that that tune!

  12. Cranky Quokka

    A constitution is a set of rules for making rules. There is no place for social indulgence in a constitution.
    To do so only opens the door for judges who wish to make laws instead of interpreting them. E.G. Tasmanian dams case.

  13. Dr Faustus

    That indigenous Australians lived on this continent for thousands of years before European settlement is a fact whose recognition in the preamble to the Constitution is long overdue.

    Last time I looked, Aboriginal Australians were very far from agreed that there is any benefit at all in recognising anything in the preamble to the Constitution.

    The main game is Treaty, self-determination – and $200k packages and Landcruiser Saharas all round (for the right sort of people).

  14. Muddy

    On a serious note, where do the allegations of, and demand for compensation for, theft (which is what this is all about, when you distill everything), begin and end?

    Others previously have raised the issue of the benefits that indigenous people have gained from ‘European’ (I use that term broadly, in the same sense as ‘non-indigenous’), and whether they, collectively, owe ‘us’ for scientific advances in, say, medicine; if ‘we’ owe them for what was allegedly stolen (such as culture, though the argument over whether that culture was stolen or simply discarded, could be endless), then surely we can expect compensation for elements of our culture they and their ancestors made use of?

    If this is truly about exchange, and what is due if the original exchanges are now deemed ‘unfair’ or a breach of unwritten and unspoken human contracts (if such exist – another endless argument), then any judgement must be able to be applied in any direction.

  15. We should start by recognizing the most important contribution of Europeans to Aboriginal culture.

    Money.

    Unless, of course, it is not important and then contributions by government to aboriginals would not be required.

  16. John Barr

    We are all Australians now after the Referendum. There should be no change to the Constitution. If the Aboriginals are given special recognition then that opens the way for many more problems & it is recognizing a divide. We are all equal now under the Law, any change would mean that Aboriginal people will claim more & more Welfare.

  17. Just Interested

    Where to start?

    1. The Australian Constitution strictly speaking is section 9 of the UK Commonwealth of Australia Act 1900. The current preamble forms part of that Act. Whilst the Australian Parliament is at liberty to propose a change to the ‘Constitution’, it can only change the bits in section 9 of the Act; not the preamble: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/

    2, That means there is a need for a new preamble stuck into section 9 of the 1900 Act. Whilst that would look silly, no court would object on the grounds it would make an imperial Act look silly as the contents of section 9 constitutes the foundation document for the Commonwealth of Australia.

    3. That means you aren’t changing the preamble to the Constitution; you are inventing a brand new one. Which will open up (again) what a full preamble would look like.

    4. A preamble doesform part of a document. That’s why the last time around they had to add a provision that said:

    125A Effect of preamble

    The preamble to this Constitution has no legal force and shall not be considered in interpreting this Constitution or the law in force in the Commonwealth or any part of the Commonwealth:

    http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/bill/ca1999336/

    Do we need to go through all this again?

    And, by the way, if you did down deep enough into the Liberal manifesto, you can see they are fully committed to this constitutional recognition stuff:

    We remain committed to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the Constitution.

    The recognition of First Australians in our nation’s founding document would acknowledge our shared history and the value we place on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

    https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan-support-indigenous-australians

    We also acknowledge the importance of telling and sharing our nation’s story: especially the history and culture of the oldest living culture on Earth. Supporting a process of truth telling and healing is an important part of our nation’s journey to reconciliation.

  18. Fred

    Whats there to stop Aborigines setting up their own Voice themselves?

    They could invite all Aborigines to become members, who pay a subscription fee, then elect members to form a Voice.

  19. Illiterate ingrates.
    Do these people think a continent chock full of resources and sparsely populated by stone age people would have been left alone by say, the French? The Portugese? The Spanish? Heaven forbid the Belgians?
    Every indigenous Australian should go to bed praying and being thankful that it was the English who decided to colonise this joint because SOMEONE WAS GOING TO. We can be 100% certain of that.

    You are owed NOTHING. You OWE your miserable fvcking life to the chance of history. Ingrates.

  20. Bronson

    What about the convicts forcibly transported by the UK government as cheap labour for the colonies?

  21. FelixKruell

    It’s disappointing to see Gleeson and others this week make the naive suggestion that this Voice won’t, in effect, act like a third chamber of parliament.

    If this was truly just about an advisory group providing advice in relation to laws pertaining to indigenous people, then it could be setup by indigenous people without any legislation. They would have full control, and skin in the game (albeit at their own cost). Same way any other lobby group is formed to provide advice to parliament.

  22. The BigBlueCat

    FelixKruell

    #3111074, posted on July 19, 2019 at 11:54 am
    It’s disappointing to see Gleeson and others this week make the naive suggestion that this Voice won’t, in effect, act like a third chamber of parliament.

    If this was truly just about an advisory group providing advice in relation to laws pertaining to indigenous people, then it could be setup by indigenous people without any legislation. They would have full control, and skin in the game (albeit at their own cost). Same way any other lobby group is formed to provide advice to parliament.

    Of course, our “first nations” people already have voices in our parliament via elected MPs and Senators. Another voice is not needed, and if a special group is formed for our “first nations” people, then what of other groups who wish to “advise” (ie. dictate to) government? Any referendum to change our Constitution on racial (or identity) grounds should be roundly defeated.

    Our indigenous people seem to be all about “truth-telling” … well, let’s hear their “truth” in its absolute minutiae – and we’ll assess it against what the history books and other “truths” tell us. But we don’t need to be racially divided by our constitution to hear their “truth”. SBS gave them a whole TV channel to do just that!

    I was channel-surfing the other day, and some NAIDOC program flashed on. Some Torres Strait islanders bemoaning their forbears’ Christian conversion and how they’ve “lost their culture”. So now they are blaming Christian Missionaries for free-will decisions made by their ancestors to embrace Christianity. Seems that “truth” is only found by what you make of it, huh! And “culture” can only be what you’ve “lost” and not by what you have. As Baa Humbug states above, they need to be thankful it wasn’t the French, Portuguese or the Belgians (or even the Spanish) who settled Australia. While the English aren’t clean, they were a helluva lot better than those other Europeans.

    I do find it somewhat incongruous that leftists aren’t bemoaning the Europeans loss of culture due to the massive influx of middle-easterners and Africans ….. surely white Europeans in Europe are the local indigenous populations whose culture needs to be preserved. If left to the immigrants, Europe would look like Aleppo!

  23. C.L.

    What white leftists are saying is that black Aborigines are too stupid to be elected to Parliament.
    So they’ve come up with a conventional leftist ‘solution’: a sheltered workshop.

  24. Dr Fred Lenin

    More divisive crap from the globalist communist fascist u.n. Scum . They dont give a stuff about the women and kids raped and bashed in the settlements ,keep giving them money to buy grog and to behave like animals when they are drunk. And the half caste taxpayer funded”leaders” looting the public purse ,wanting them to stay in the bush so the cushy jobs dont vanish ,they make me sick with their fake uni “degrees “in fake history ,contrived lying rubbish .

  25. candy

    I’m not totally against the voice to Parliament if there were goals attached to this group, like over a two year period the rate of FAS in the babies and STDs in children has dropped which would have to be proven statistically, by some interventions the “voice” or working committee can bring out.

    Trouble is there seems a strong likelihood the “voice” would just be the wealthy urbanised media elite type indigenous and be far removed from the actual dysfunction and problems of their own peoples.

    Even so, if there is just a 5% chance of improvement in the children’s lives, is it worth considering?
    After all, it is the kids who matter here, not political point scoring and so on.

  26. Behind Enemy Lines

    Jesus wept.

    The staggering, undeserved, pointless, fruitless, wasteful, destructive, rage-inducing torrent of money, time and attention Australia’s political class frantically pours into the infinitely bottomless aboriginal money-hole makes me begin to look forward to being ruled by the Chinese.

    And the more of the former, the sooner the latter.

    Taking these proposals seriously in the first place — lending them any sort of moral credibility at all — is the biggest mistake we can make.

    The correct response to this and every bright new idea that smells like it is ‘NO – BFYTW’.

    What is it going to take, to finally make ordinary Australians snap?

  27. FelixKruell

    BigblueCat:

    Of course, our “first nations” people already have voices in our parliament via elected MPs and Senators. Another voice is not needed, and if a special group is formed for our “first nations” people, then what of other groups who wish to “advise” (ie. dictate to) government? Any referendum to change our Constitution on racial (or identity) grounds should be roundly defeated.

    Everyone should get only one vote (for each of the two chambers). But as many voices as they like. An indigenous farmer should get the same vote as any other citizen to elect a representative in the house and the senate. But can then have their voice as farmer heard through the NFF. Their voice as an indigenous person heard through their indigenous lobby group. Their voice as an employer through the BCA.

  28. Mother Lode

    is a fact whose recognition in the preamble to the Constitution is long overdue.

    Why this fact?

    Out of all the facts that there are, why does this need to be in the Constitution?

    What is the problem right now attributable to it not being in the Constitution?

  29. Rafe Champion

    I thought Henry was of sound mind.

    Lets stoke the fires of identity politics and the new Anti-White Racism.

    Look forward to a column Black Lives Matter.

  30. Mother Lode

    black Aborigines

    I believe they only make up about 5% of the Aboriginal population.

  31. Fred:

    Whats there to stop Aborigines setting up their own Voice themselves?

    They could invite all Aborigines to become members, who pay a subscription fee, then elect members to form a Voice.

    You’ve lucked out on this one Fred. The Aboriginal Nations demand the right to be given to them.
    Not worked for, not paid for, just given.
    And no, this will not be their last territorial demand in Australia.

  32. Rob MW

    This sheet of music ?

  33. notafan

    Good idea Fred

    with the rivers of money flowing from land rights and mining royalties there should be plenty of money for a Voice of One’s Own

  34. Mother Lode

    It is best we all sing from the same sheet of music

    There are 25.5 million Australians of which Aborigines are a small minority.

    Singing from the same sheet somehow means the vast majority must bend to the will of the vast minority.

  35. Sepp

    If i remember rightly Aboriginals where given a voice in 1962

    A VOTE

    So why are we discussing this .. A waste of our time

  36. Iampeter

    That indigenous Australians lived on this continent for thousands of years before European settlement is a fact whose recognition in the preamble to the Constitution is long overdue.

    I don’t have access to the whole article but I can’t imagine why you would suggest this other than not having any idea what the purpose of a Constitution is supposed to be.

    I thought Henry was of sound mind.

    Lets stoke the fires of identity politics and the new Anti-White Racism.

    Look forward to a column Black Lives Matter.

    Says the sound minded guy who just spent weeks stoking identity politics when Folau got fired.

    Posts like this are the reason I used to think I was being brilliantly trolled here.
    But no. You’re for real…

  37. billie

    could we add to the list of recognitions

    my dad was from Europe a long time ago (in dog years anyway)

    mum was from Paddington in Sydney, that needs to be recogised too

    completely frivilous of course, why does anyone’s race or group or whatever need to be especially lauded?

    so much for a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance

    it does reinforce that reconcilliation in Australia is a one way street and there is no middle round

    the more refuugees and migrants who come to Australia the more they will ask why on earth are we expected to pander to anyone let alone a special whole group of anyones?

    actually, that’s probably why the urgency to get something like this through, so as to overcome the obvious questions the majority of people ask

    like Why? What for? Why them? Why anyone? Can I have a biscuit?

  38. Jim Reedy

    I don’t believe our constitution should mention any race whatsoever,
    Not at all surprisingly I am also against any citizen having different rights to me.

  39. The Beer Whisperer

    Henry, unity is the Marxist word for submission.

    Stop being a cuck.

  40. Rex Mango

    Why the need for a referendum, when all that is required to amend the constitution is you redefine a word to make in mean whatever you want, as they did with marriage.

  41. HP

    Empty symbolic pandering exposes the moral snob.

    Not surprising, yet disappointing to see Ergas clearly on the wrong side of this.

  42. The BigBlueCat

    FelixKruell

    #3111109, posted on July 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Everyone should get only one vote (for each of the two chambers). But as many voices as they like. An indigenous farmer should get the same vote as any other citizen to elect a representative in the house and the senate. But can then have their voice as farmer heard through the NFF. Their voice as an indigenous person heard through their indigenous lobby group. Their voice as an employer through the BCA.

    I agree … they already have voices, so why one more? Because they were (allegedly) first here? Or because they have a “spiritual” affinity to the land? Or because “we say so”? The more “progressive” our “first nations” people become, the more divisive the requests. As Morgan Freeman put it, to stop racism stop talking about race. The sooner that becomes a reality, the sooner we will respect each other and stop to listen.

  43. Dr Fred Lenin

    We need to liberate aboriginals of all colours from global communist fascist opression and exploitation . Abolish native title and aboriginal special benefits ,make every aboriginal fully equal to all other citizens , with the same rights and obligations . Stop subsidising apartheit ,make them work like everyone else. This is the real way of reconcilliation with the conquered being absorbed into the conquerers way of life
    I say conquered ,they claim to be invaded so they were defeated so they were conquered ,terra nullis is nonsense ,ask any white aboriginal stirrer ,there fore native title is negated and legistlation pertaining to aboriginals null and void .

  44. HP

    The Dutch should be recognised in the constitution. We need a “Dutch Voice” since our unique point of view cannot represented by non-Dutch politicians.

    And we need funding… lots of funding.

    We need a Certificate of Dutchonality to certify those eligible, of course. This will not be a free-for-all.

    To this end, I will set up an organisation to determine who is entitled, based of course on the vaguest of criteria – not biological or ancestry. No, something like “whether you are accepted by the community” – and that community, that’ll be me. Certificates will be for sale.

    That Certificate will then give you access to:
    – grants (such as Dutch-only housing loans, research and study grants)
    – university courses (with specific positions for Dutch students)
    – Centrelink and housing assistance (Dutch-specific)
    – employment (Dutch identified positions)
    – school programs for Dutch students.

    With me controlling access to these via Certificates of Dutchonality, nothing can possibly go wrong. Any accusation of abuse or fraud should be actionable under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

    Of course the Dutch flag should be on every government building, next to the Australian flag. That is obvious. It is hurtful to Dutch to be confronted by the Australian flag or other expressions of racism.

    Once we have this in place, we’ll have to talk about a Treaty – long overdue.
    And more funding.

  45. Robber Baron

    I’m glad the Abboriginals are starting to make demands because we are sick to death of their whinging and screaming for more money. Keep calling us racist, you racists. Keep calling us whiteys, you racists. Keep demanding we give you more of our money, you entitled prats. Keep it up. Just wait for the result of the referendum and then you will finally realise that we are all sick of you. It’s time you all started showing the rest of us some respect, because you won’t be getting any respect from us any time soon.

    Bring on the referendum now!

  46. 2dogs

    Which part of me is Aboriginal?

    Good post.

    The SJWs insist sex is a spectrum, while race is binary. Both positions are scientifically unsound.

  47. 2dogs

    unity is the Marxist word for submission

    +100

  48. 2dosg:
    We don’t here from you much these days.
    Hows it going?

  49. gowest

    Still waiting for some real Aborigine War history – who killed who and how would be a good start.

  50. Easy one gowest.
    The aboriginals killed all the Murrayians, the mega fauna, and burnt down the whole bloody continent.
    Which is a good thing because can you imagine hitting a mega wombat at 120km/hr?
    That’d fuck your day up, no end.
    You’d need a belt fed 88mm to stop a migration of a flock of those bastards.

  51. miltonf

    I think Henry has gas again like when the Donald got elected,

  52. Milton f:
    Nah.
    I’m more interested in watchin a 120y Datsun plough into a giant frigging Wombat at 120 km/hr on the New England Highway.
    My munni’s on the Wonbat.

  53. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Still waiting for some real Aborigine War history – who killed who and how would be a good start.

    It’s an inconvenient truth that more then one “frontier massacre” – ‘maybe two, maybe three hundred of our people, shot and burned” had been investigated and found to be nothing more then “stories my Nanna told me.”

  54. Is there a wonbat and a 120y in those stories, Zk2A?

  55. Davey Boy

    Meanwhile, tonight on NITV, the channel which “informs, educates and entertains its Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences about the issues that matter the most to Indigenous Australians” there has just been broadcast the American blaxploitation parody movie Black Dynamite. You dig?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.