THREE FLAGS: Flags flying outside the Civic Centre.
THREE FLAGS: Flags flying outside the Civic Centre. Mike Knott

OPINION: Get on with it Australia

NAIDOC Week this year has seen a historic meeting of Aboriginal leaders with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition leader Bill Shorten at Kirribilli House in Sydney.

The idea is to map a way forward in acknowledging Aboriginal Australians in the constitution and the PM gets points for having a go.

This is definitely one you can file under the category "about freaking time".

But the prime minister has cautioned against setting unrealistic or, as he terms it, unachievable goals for how the Constitution should be changed for fear of spooking an electorate notoriously prone to voting down referendum questions.

The danger is the changes made to the Constitution may be so lily-livered that there is no substantive meaning to them - leaving non-Aboriginal Australia with a warm fuzzy feeling that we have made a difference when entrenched injustice and disadvantage remain in the day-to-day world of indigenous Australians.

Clarity should be the key and some continue to push for the signing of a separate treaty to recognise Aboriginal sovereignty.

The treaty of Waitangi signed between the Maori and New Zealand settlers is often cited as a good example. However two versions of the document were signed and the English and Maori versions differ significantly and disputes continue today.

But at least they have a treaty and they did it in 1840. Hurry up Australia.


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