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Race based taxation…what’s next?: Bev McArthur

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The Hon. Beverley McArthur, Member for Western Victoria Region (Vic), Media Release, 12 April 2024

Media reports have revealed that the Allan Labor Government is considering a request to give Aboriginal people land tax exemptions on the basis of their race, as proposed by Aunty Dr Jill Gallagher AO.

Parliament of Victoria

In a speech on Saturday, Dr Gallagher laid out a list of 10 reforms which she said “must be part of a statewide treaty”.

The list of demands includes exempting Aboriginal people from land tax, stamp duty and council rates, providing Aboriginal people with interest-free loans to purchase homes, completely free university tuition and creating “designated seats” on local councils.

When asked about the proposal, Premier Jacinta Allan refused to rule out the exemptions, stating that everything is “on the table”.

Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur slammed the government for entertaining such an outrageous proposition.

“We should not be creating tax policy based on skin colour or ethnicity.

“In the modern multicultural nation, which we call Australia, it is abhorrent to think that Labor is considering taxing Victorians differently based on their genetic make-up, race or other attributes.”

Mrs McArthur accused the government of discrimination, arguing that Labor is attempting to “play favourites with the tax act”.

“You can’t make this stuff up, it is ludicrous but more importantly, incredibly divisive.

“This ambit claim for special privilege from Treaty proponents is grossly unfair, and will only exacerbate division.” 

Mrs McArthur has called on the government to reject the list of demands made by Dr Jill Gallagher and to abandon treaty negotiations all together. 

“A Treaty with ourselves is a nonsense in itself and demands like this latest list from Dr Gallagher, only serve to cement division and distrust.” 

At the 2023 Voice referendum, fifty-four percent of Victorians voted against the voice, with sixty percent of Australians rejecting it nationally.  

“The message was simple at the last referendum. We said no to dividing Australians along the lines of race. It’s time for Labor to listen to the people and reject this absurd proposal in full.”

Read the full text of Aunty Dr Jill Gallagher’s address to the Statewide Treaty Gathering here: https://www.firstpeoplesvic.org/news/grasping-the-opportunities-of-treaty-a-historical-perspective-aunty-jill-gallagher-ao/ ’

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