New group seeks Aboriginal seats in parliament

6:07 pm on 13 August 2010

A new group representing indigenous people in Australia wants to push for specific Aboriginal seats in the Senate, similar to the Maori seats in the New Zealand Parliament.

The call for better representation comes as leaders of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities express disappointment that their issues are not being debated in Australia's election campaign, Radio New Zealand's political editor reports.

The recently-formed National Congress for Australia's First Peoples has been meeting in Sydney on Friday.

Chairperson Kerry Arabena says indigenous voices are all but silent in the general election campaign.

Dr Arabena says one way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people to have a real voice in the campaign would be if they had specific seats in the Senate.

She says there is also a plan that an indigenous political party eventually emerge out of the National Congress.

Meanwhile, Ddr Arabena is not expecting indigenous issues to figure at all in the last week of Australia's election campaign.

The general election will be held on 21 August.