Mr ENTSCH: For too long, a select few have laid claim to funding to support Indigenous communities but have not made good on their commitments. The most egregious example is Noel Pearson. He presides over a growing list of dysfunctional entities who have done little but line the pockets of a select few at the top. Not only has Noel and others like him effectively dictated Indigenous policy in this country; they have been paid handsomely to implement it. Well over half a billion dollars, we’ve been able to identify so far, has gone to Noel’s various entities and policies, just in Cape York alone. There is no question that we need a full audit and inquiry into the rorting, the wastage and the mismanagement within the Indigenous policy industry. It is rife.
The bureaucrats, politicians and media who protect Noel are only serving to widen the gap. Noel is a well-spoken charlatan, and I’m glad that Australians saw the Voice for what it was: another job for life for self-appointed metropolitan academics. We must escape Pearson’s stranglehold and finally hold him to account for his failures and fervent greed. It is time to listen to the popularly elected leaders in these very remote communities—those who have been screaming out for a long time to get out from within the tentacles of Pearson’s entities and have their voices heard—because, at the end of the day, they’re the ones who have to actually live with the consequences of the decisions that are made on their recommendations. I firmly believe that Noel’s voice has been well and truly heard.