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Australian PM accused of being 'deceitful'

IANS  |  Canberra 

Australian has been labelled as "deceitful" over his public rejection of enshrining an indigenous voice in the nation's constitution.

Noel Pearson, an indigenous leader from Cape in far north Queensland, and other members of the on Thursday expressed their outrage with the over an answer he gave in Parliamentary Question Time on Tuesday, reported.

In response to a question from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, told Parliament that he had warned the that "a body available only to Indigenous Australians" was "inconsistent with a fundamental principle of our democracy."

The is a body that was appointed by and Shorten to advise on the best way to formally recognise the indigenous population in the Australian Constitution.

In June 2017, the council recommended that a referendum should be held on establishing an indigenous advisory body that would be consulted by Parliament on legislation and policy affecting Aboriginal and people. However, Turnbull rejected the proposal.

"I also said, being frank and honest, that I thought the prospects of such an amendment to the constitution being successful were absolutely zero, absolutely zero," the told Parliament on Tuesday.

Pearson said that Turnbull's assertion on Tuesday was contrary to the advice given to the council in November 2016 that he would genuinely consider any proposal made by the council, including the 'voice' to the Parliament.

Pearson said Turnbull's answer in Parliament exposed "his duplicity in relation to his dealing with Indigenous constitutional recognition" by misrepresenting what he told the council.

"The prime minister had pre-judged the whole dialogue process even before the consultations with indigenous people and the wider Australian community had even commenced," Pearson told the (ABC) on Thursday.

"His opposition to the 'voice' is based on his own opinion and takes no consideration of the outcomes of a public consultation process," Pearson said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 14:34 IST