Former PM weighs in on treaty talk

Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Australia is “on a trajectory towards a treaty”.

In an interview to be aired on NITV current affairs show Living Black tonight, Mr Rudd says Australia won’t achieve reconciliation until a treaty is in place.

He tells interviewer Karla Grant that he doesn’t endorse Malcolm Turnbull’s actions since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was delivered in May.

“I don’t endorse Turnbull’s reaction at all,” Rudd says.

“I know it’s pretty hard to get consensus among Indigenous leaders, but when it emerges in the tone in which it was reflected in the document coming out of Uluru, my first response is, you treat that with a lot of respect, and secondly I ask myself, what’s wrong with a representative body if it’s powers are advisory?

“I certainly don’t have any problems at all with the voice to Parliament.

“I think where my views have changed, and I’ve reflected (on) this recently, is, I think we are on a trajectory towards a treaty. I don’t know when and I don’t know what, but I think we won’t achieve final reconciliation until that is done.”

The interview comes a decade after Mr Rudd’s national apology to the Stolen Generations and those forcibly removed from their families and communities.

Although Mr Rudd made the apology in 2008, a treaty was not introduced under his government.

On February 13 2008, Mr Rudd led the apology for the “profound grief, suffering and loss” caused by past government policies.

“We couldn’t get to the business of closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians until we had the guts from wider Australia to say sorry for the appalling treatment,” Mr Rudd tells Grant.

“It was an elemental response as a human being, knowing how deeply we had wronged this country’s First People.”

  • Kevin Rudd speaks to Karla Grant on Living Black, tonight at 9pm on NITV.


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