With the election just around the corner, we’re asking the question: is now the time we’ll see more First Nations representation in government?
Jacinta Price—a proud Warlpiri and Celtic woman—is running for the seat of Lingiari in the Northern Territory, representing the Country Liberal Party (CLP).
In the last few weeks, Ms Price has made headlines, for lashing out at a reporter who criticised her performance as an Alice Springs councillor and for a fiery response to offensive comments directed at her by Green’s candidate George Hanna.
Ms Price was unable to be contacted for interview, however she did provide a statement to NIT, outlining her vision for Lingiari. She said that in her travels around the Territory, she has heard a consistent message—after 30 years, it’s time for change.
“I kept hearing that it is time for an Aboriginal person to represent the Aboriginal communities from the Tiwi Islands in the north, down to the Central Desert region, and from Wadeye in the west, to Nhulunbuy and Borroloola and in the east … I couldn’t agree more.”
“The government has cut services in the bush and spent federal funds that are intended for remote communities—funding for health, schools or police—in Darwin and other major centres.”
Ms Price has an extensive portfolio, with twenty years of experiences as a cross cultural consultant under her belt, along with several years of experience running the not-for-profit organisation Yangapi Productions – a First Nations focused children’s television program.
She also has a strong connection with the arts, particularly visual art and music, having toured Australia with her own music for over two decades.
Ms Price is dedicated to pushing the development of First Nation culture through the arts.
“I am proud to be supporting cultural festivals such as Barunga and Garma and I am pleased to announce the CLP will provide Yothu Yindi Foundation with $408,000 for this year’s Garma Festival.”
A loyal member of the CLP, Ms Price believes the party is the best possible advocate for the communities of Lingiari.
“The CLP has a strong record of delivery for Aboriginal people both in the Territory and right around the nation. It is a record I am keen to continue and build upon. It is a record of getting people off welfare and into jobs—real jobs—and empowering Traditional Owners to pursue their economic aspirations on their land.”
“We will also continue … investment in health, education, roads, bridges, mobile phone coverage and internet services for remote communities across the Territory. We have already announced an additional $95.4 million health plan for NT communities.”
The CLP has championed a community township leasing model, which supports Aboriginal communities to take control, through community-held township leases.
“The CLP has also given Indigenous businesses a fair dinkum way to win government contracts through the Indigenous Procurement Policy and we are pushing remote businesses through the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund. We have … created new business incubators to support CDP participants to create new businesses in their communities.”
Ms Price says the CLP will continue to improve CDP.
“I know that remote communities do not want to see a return to the bad old days of sit-down money, more alcohol and more violence.”
“We have pushed ahead with 1,000 new jobs, I am determined to deliver the 6,000 jobs we initially promised.”
Ms Price said Indigenous people have been the at the heart of the CLP’s plans for the NT.
“Traditional Owners I meet with regularly complain that white men have too much say about our future. The CLP has given control of the Aboriginals Benefit Account back to Aboriginal people and stopped Territory Labor from raiding the ABA like it used to when it tried to give $90 million in ABA funds to staff housing for non-Indigenous employees.”
“I am confident that if we continue to work together we can maintain the progress we have achieved in land rights, native title, economic development, housing, health and school attendance.”
Ms Price hopes that in the upcoming election, history will be made, through the election of an Aboriginal woman as the next Member for Lingiari.
By Rachael Knowles