An idea to place an Aboriginal flag in the four corners of the House of Representatives, alongside the Australian flag, has the backing of Cathy McGowan.
The Indi MP says she “absolutely” supports the proposal from Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie to fly the two flags alongside each other.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shot down the idea in question time this week.
“While we pay great respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, the flag hanging in each corner of this room is the flag of Australia,” he said.
Ms McGowan said she was surprised by the response.
“I’d be encouraging community discussion around what they want before they said no outright,” she said.
“I thought the Prime Minister would have said ‘we’ll go away and think about this, we need to consult with people’, which is what you should do.
“See what the feeling is and consult with Aboriginal elders to see if that’s something they would want.”
I thought the Prime Minister would have said ‘we’ll go away and think about this, we need to consult with people’.Indi MP Cathy McGowan
Ms McGowan and fellow independent Andrew Wilkie escorted Ms Sharkie back into Parliament this week as she was sworn in again following her win in the Mayo by-election.
Indigenous residents on the Border will have their own change to have a say on the big issues when a hearing of the Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is held in Albury-Wodonga on September 24.
Ms McGowan encouraged people to make a submission to the inquiry before the September 17 cut off if they wanted to have a say.
Both she and Farrer MP Susan Ley are members of the committee.
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