Noel Pearson has broken his silence weeks after the defeat of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Mr Pearson was speaking with journalist Stan Grant at the recent Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland when he said Indigenous affairs in Australia are now in a worse state than before the October 14 referendum, The Australian reported.
News photographer David Kapernick, who was in the audience for the festival event, wrote on social media that Mr Pearson said Anthony Albanese is "running away" from Indigenous affairs and said the Prime Minister would "do nothing" to advance progress for Aboriginal people.
As the scale of the referendum loss became clear on the evening of 14 October, Mr Albanese had said he was disappointed by the result but that it "will not divide" Australians.
"We are not yes voters or no voters. We are all Australian. We must take our country beyond this debate, without forgetting while we had it in the first place," he said.
The proposal was to establish an Indigenous body to advise the federal government, and parliament more broadly, on policy specifically relevant to Indigenous people, and to enshrine that body in the Constitution so it could give advice freely without fear of being abolished by the government of the day.
The proposal was defeated by a margin of 60 to 40 per cent.
Later, the Prime Minister said the result "wasn't a loss" for him personally during a 2GB radio interview.
"I am not Indigenous so it wasn't a loss to me," he said.
"That stays exactly the same the way it is. I do think that it was disappointing for First Nations people but they're used to you know, getting the, they're used to hardship. It's been the case for 200 years, and they are resilient and we will continue to do what we can to provide for closing the gap."