Prime Minister Anthony Albanese leads day of condolences in parliament

Anthony Albanese has overlooked the mixed emotions coursing through Australia in his 15 minute condolence speech to parliament following the Queen’s death, making just a brief mention of Indigenous Australians.

The Prime Minister had previously acknowledged the past two weeks had been difficult for many, particularly for First Nations people, but had called for it to be a period of respect for the sovereign’s record 70-year reign.

In his speech to parliament on Friday, Mr Albanese’s sole reference to Indigenous Australians was in the context of a visit to the country when the “White Australia policy was still in place”.

“We were still a long way off any sort of reckoning with the truth of this continent’s first inhabitants,” he said.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese only briefly mentioned Indigenous Australians. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

On Friday, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Nationals leader David Littleproud all followed suit, leaving it to Indigenous Minister Linda Burney to be the first to say the Queen’s death had resulted in many “wrestling with the swelling emotions”.

“There are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have respect for the Queen … The Queen’s relationship with Indigenous Australians reflects both how far we have come and how far we still have to go,” she said.

“I believe deeply that Her Majesty understood, in a very real way, the concept of sovereignty never ceded.”

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Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney said she believed the Queen ‘understood’ the concept of sovereignty never ceded. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Greens leader Adam Bandt paid tribute to the Queen but harked back to Governor-General David Hurley, who during the national service on Thursday acknowledged that there was “unfinished business”.

“We should respect the civility with which Elizabeth Windsor oversaw the drawdown of what was once the British Empire and take the cue that … people across this country are experiencing this moment in different ways,” he said.

“We must recognise the cultural, structural and institutional ways in which the Crown, which we remain a part of, has oppressed First Nations people here and around the world.

“The Queen … allowed and encouraged so many countries to grow up, move out and move on … Now is the time to look back honestly and to move forward with courage, grace and humility.”

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Greens Leader Adam Bandt said now was the time to ‘move forward’. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

His Senate colleague, Sarah Hanson-Young, used her time to say that while the Queen herself had not been to blame for the centuries of genocide and colonisation, she remained a reminder of a treacherous past.

“Momentous events create great moments of reflection. This should allow us to think about the values we hold … and the type of world we want to live in,” she said.

“Now is the time for justice, recognition and respect.”

Mr Albanese spent his speech paying tribute to the Queen, who came to power at the age of 25 and presided over 70 years of progress and advancement.

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The House paused for a brief moment of silence following the leaders’ speeches. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

He spoke to her “special” relationship with Australia, saying that for so many, given the length of her reign, she was “simply always there”.

“She was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change,” Mr Albanese said.

“She consulted with 16 Australian prime ministers, starting with Sir Robert Menzies, 16 governors-general, starting with Sir William McHale, and she made 16 visits to our shores, starting with a 58-day tour.

“She got to know us, appreciate us, embrace us, and the feeling was very much mutual. She handed out trophies in schools. She chatted with outback families on the radio.

“There were people to comfort, achievements to be celebrated. There were openings and festivals rodeos and surf carnivals. She got to know our landscapes and our character. All the time, she was gently endearing herself ever deeper into our national life.

“The Queen always had a special place in the hearts of Australians and she always will.”

business, news, australia, entertainment, celebrity gossip, politics, federal politics, leadership, nt news, qld news, regional wa, royal family, tas news, vic news, prime minister anthony albanese leads day of condolences in parliament

Peter Dutton paid tribute to the Queen’s ‘deep affection’ for Australia. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Dutton also paid tribute to the Queen’s “deep affection” for Australia.

“The Queen would admit that she always felt a special bond with a people whose creative energy and collective ambition is leaving by genuine warmth, generosity and humour,” he said.

“She admired that Australian trait to honour those who go about their essential business without fuss or media attention.

“Today, we say with heartfelt gratitude, goodnight to the Queen. May she rest in peace in eternal peace, and long live the King.”

Mr Marles said the past two weeks had proven the Queen correct when she said the famous words “grief is the price we pay for love”.

“But in this instance grief is also the appreciation across the breadth of Australia of a deeply grateful nation. Vale Queen Elizabeth II,” he said.

Nationals Leader David Littleproud spoke about the fondness regional Australians had for the Queen.

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