Kuku Yalanji woman Pat O’Shane, Socialist Alliance candidate in the federal seat of Leichhardt, has slammed the reported failure to find staff for polling booths in Cape York communities.
“Many booths in remote Australia have not yet been staffed by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and may not open on Saturday,” she said.
“These communities are where Aboriginal people live. This is another example of how First Nations communities are being excluded. Polling booths in Aurukun and Napranum have already been abolished this federal election, reducing access in these communities,” O’Shane continued.
“I’m outraged that Aboriginal people could be further denied their right to vote by a bureaucratic failure to act. The failure to solve this reflects the current government’s lack of interest in listening to the voice of First Nations peoples.
“The lack of housing in remote communities and the lack of accommodation for visiting staff is another reminder of lack of investment by the current government.
“The AEC has mentioned that workers could be flown into communities to staff booths. Absolutely they should! Democracy is worth it.”