Australia news live: Indigenous voice no campaigner Warren Mundine says date of Australia Day should be changed | Australia news

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On speculation about whether Warren Mundine might replace Maurice Payne in the senate, Mundine says he is too focussed on trying to defeat the Voice and ‘“not focused on things that are irrelevant”.

And that’s a wrap.

Mundine says he has “never seen so much racism” during the push for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament but he was not surprised.

In the last 12 months, I’ve never seen so much racism and comments and attacks then I have seen since I was a kid. This is – it’s dreadful and the reason I raised about the Prime Minister is that if the Prime Minister was going to bring this referendum forward and he is talking about uniting the people, he shouldn’t have used derogatory terms against people who didn’t agree with them.

Mundine, however, conceded he has had to kick people from the No campaign over racist comments.

The problem we have is once you start talking about race, it never ends well. And we’ve seen that on both sides of the aisle and it has been pretty dreadful. We have to stop talking about race and actually get back to the referendum and start talking about those issues.

Mundine says he would like to see a symbolic clause inserted in the Constitution that also recognises the contribution migrants and refugees who “contribution to this country and made it the great liberal democracy and economic powerhouse that we are today”.

I wouldn’t underestimate symbolism. When I sat in the Parliament that day, the Sorry debate, the Prime Minister got up and led it and the Leader of the Opposition seconded it. To me that was a very powerful day because, for the first time, we really recognised what happened to the stolen generation and a government of Australia apologised for that, and so I had – I will be honest, I had a tear in my eye. I thought about all of those people who had suffered in the past and some people who are still suffering today and I thought that was a very good healing process. The issue now is we need practical stuff, real stuff that is going to make the difference.

Asked about the Indigenous Advisory Council, Mundine says the body was “just a committee” that advised the Prime Minister and Cabinet “in ways that we could improve things”. He says this body was different to the proposal for the voice which will create unnecessary bureaucracy.

Well, the difference between us and the Voice, as I said, we weren’t a representative body, we were made up of all different races. And we were experts in these areas of what needed to be done. The Voice – and also we weren’t in the Constitution. We were totally outside that. This is one of the problems I had, and this is one of the problems why I stepped away from the up hold & Recognise movement was because I didn’t see – why did we have to have it in the because that creates a position that are always going to need help and are always victims, and I didn’t agree with that.

Despite the No campaign raising fears over the treaty process, Mundine also says he supports the creation of multiple treaties with First Nations people.

I say treaties in the plural sense because we have to recognise Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal culture is our First Nations, and the first thing we learn about life is that one nation cannot talk about another nation’s country, only those traditional owners of those countries can talk about those countries, and therefore when you talk about like a state treaty or a national-type treaty, it doesn’t make sense in our culture.

Mundine says he believes these treaties are more likely to happen if a no vote succeeds, saying that a yes vote will lead to the creation of “another body of bureaucracy”.

If it is a “no” vote, that’s when the real work starts. As Jacinta said, the senator, she said we have to have accountability. We are spending billions of dollars every year and according to Closing the Gap we are still not going places. We have to deal with that.

Warren Mundine calls for date of Australia Day to be changed

Mundine – a leader of the no campaign – says he supports changing the date of Australia day from January 26 despite claims by the No campaign that the Yes campaign wants to change the date.

Only if we let it be. January 26 will always be an important day because of the fact that European countries came to Australia and set up the colonies here. We can’t get away from that, but we can’t become captive of it. We have to face the facts and move on.

Yes, recognise history. Yes, recognise the invasion, recognise the good and bad that is in our history, but we still have to move on.

Mundine says it is important to recognise the past but “at the same time we have to move forward” and that if Indigenous Australians “do not move forward, then we are stuck in history.”

We’ve got to move and improve our lives and get things done, and if we don’t do that, then we are just in a trap, eye cycle, a Groundhog Day.

Mundine says that according to research by the Centre for Independent Studies the “biggest gap is not between black and white, but biggest gap is between Aboriginals in cities and large provincial towns and people living in remote and regional Australia.”

We need to be focusing on the ones who are struggling and in need of support.

The Centre For Independent Studies is a right wing, free market think tank.

‘You cannot go on forever saying colonisation’: Mundine

Warren Mundine has compared the colonisation of Australia to the colonisation of England by the Anglo-Saxons.

Speaking to ABC Insiders on Sunday, the leader of the no campaign said:

The question isn’t about the ongoing trauma or neglect like that, but the question is how do we move forward? You cannot go on forever saying colonisation, because it’s just fact: it has happened, is going to stop us from doing things, is going to stop us from improving our lives and keep us in … poverty. If that’s the statement, then I think we are heading up the wrong track.

Search resumes for ‘distressed’ missing swimmer

A search for a man who looked distressed before he disappeared off a Byron Bay beach has entered its second day.

The man, who police described as aged in his 50s and of Caucasian appearance, was swimming at Tallow Beach about 3pm on Saturday when he looked “in distress”, NSW police said.

The man went under the water and failed to resurface, prompting calls to police.

Tweed and Byron officers, surf lifesavers, Marine Rescue NSW and a Queensland rescue helicopter began searching for the man but failed to find him on Saturday night.

The search resumed about 8am on Sunday, with police yet to receive a missing persons report about the man.

Officers urged anyone who saw him about 3pm on Saturday to come forward.

The man was last seen wearing light coloured board shorts, police said.


Thousands rally across Australia in support of Indigenous voice to parliament

As campaigning for and against an Indigenous voice to parliament intensifies before the upcoming referendum, Anthony Albanese remains confident Australians will vote “yes”.

Australians have taken to the streets this weekend to join official “yes” campaign walks, backed by musicians including Paul Kelly, Peter Garrett, Dan Sultan, Missy Higgins, Bernard Fanning, Spiderbait and John Butler.

Voters will head to the ballot box on 14 October, when they will be asked whether they want to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by enshrining an Indigenous consultative body in the constitution.

Speaking at an event on Saturday, the prime minister said:

It’s like the apology, it’s like marriage equality – when it’s all done, people will wonder why we didn’t do it before.

We will get this done.

Australians will vote yes, and we will be a better country for it.

Penny Wong during a Walk for Yes event at Victoria Square in Adelaide yesterday.
Penny Wong during a Walk for Yes event at Victoria Square in Adelaide yesterday. Photograph: Matt Turner/AAP
Yes supporters at the event at Victoria Square in Adelaide.
Yes supporters at the event at Victoria Square in Adelaide. Photograph: Matt Turner/AAP

It was a bruising final week in federal parliament, which Indigenous Australians minister Linda Burney admitted had taken a personal toll, as prominent no vote campaigner Jacinta Nampijinpa Price addressed the National Press Club.

In a provocative speech, Price claimed the voice was unnecessary as British colonisation had not had lasting negative impacts on Aboriginal people.

Burney labelled the comments “simply wrong” and a “betrayal” to the stolen generations’ families.

The tail end of the week was dominated by accusations of racism levelled at the yes and no camps as both blamed the other for trying to divide the nation.

The PM said:

What we need to do to secure a vote for ‘yes’ is to continue to run a positive campaign.

We will continue to present this as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lift up this and future generations and to close the gap.

Walks for the yes campaign were scheduled for 40 cities and regional centres.


Football legend Ron Barassi offered state funeral

Ron Barassi’s family will be offered a state funeral to honour the Australian sporting icon.

The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews,confirmed the gesture would be made after Barassi died on Saturday, aged 87.

Andrews joined the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and the AFL community in paying tribute to Barassi, with league chairman Richard Goyder calling him the game’s most important figure since the second world war.

AFL legend Ron Barassi in 2003
AFL legend Ron Barassi in 2003. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

The premier also noted that Barassi died the day after a hard-fought semi-final between Carlton and Melbourne, two of the four clubs where the player and coach is revered for his contribution.

In a social media post, Andrews said:

The word legend is used a lot. But nobody deserves it quite like Ron Barassi.

He didn’t just play the game – he reshaped it.

And how fitting that [Friday] night’s game was a cliffhanger between the Dees and the Blues.

The government will offer Ron’s family a state funeral to remember him – and I hope they accept.”

Players and fans gave Barassi a standing ovation at Adelaide Oval and there was a short period of silence before Saturday night’s Port Adelaide-GWS semi-final.


Warren Mundine to appear on Insiders

No campaigner Warren Mundine will appear on the ABC’s Insiders program after a bruising week of debate over the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum.

Meanwhile, the minister for government services, Bill Shorten, has appeared on Sky News this morning.

We will bring you all the latest as it happens.


Good morning.

Ron Barassi’s family will be offered a state funeral to honour the Australian sporting great. The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed the gesture would be made after Barassi died yesterday aged 87, saying he hoped Barassi’s family would accept the offer.

Australians will continue to take to the streets today to join official Indigenous voice to parliament “yes” campaign walks, backed by musicians including Paul Kelly, Peter Garrett, Dan Sultan, Missy Higgins, Bernard Fanning, Spiderbait and John Butler. Walk for Yes events will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Alice Springs, Darwin and Canberra.

I’m Royce Kurmelovs and I’ll be taking you through the day.

Let’s get into it.

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