A push by the City of Melbourne council to give Aboriginal people who do not live in the council area voting and candidate rights as “traditional owners” has been labelled 'daft' by Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi.
Currently eligibility for enrolment and candidacy in the council is currently restricted to ratepayers - residents, business owners and property owners.
A council 'issues paper' said that, while many “traditional custodians” may not be residents or ratepayers within the council area, “the decisions and actions of the City of Melbourne Council have a particular impact on traditional custodians and their lands and waters”.
“Aboriginals who are traditional custodians are recognised as having a link to land that is far stronger and deeper than many recognised land rights in the current electoral system,” it said.
Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley wants the council to approach the Andrews Government to amend the City of Melbourne Act to set up a special electoral franchise for traditional owners.
Senator Bernardi told Paul Murray Live on Sky News the idea was crazy, virtue-signalling, racist, garbage.
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