Wilson “Ironbar” Tuckey , the member for O’Connor, a huge rural electorate in WA, walked out on the apology this morning.
Ironbar Tuckey got his nickname after he was convicted in 1967 for beating an Aboriginal man with an iron bar. Tuckey was convicted of assault and fined $50. It is reported that he “loves” the nickname, but goes to pains to explain that it was actually a length of steel cable. His history is described by Wikipedia as “colourful“.
These actions did nothing to halt his lengthy Parliamentary career, including a stint as Chairman on the Government Members Policy Committee for Indigenous Affairs.
This is an email Tuckey recently wrote to one of his constituents:
From: “Tuckey, Wilson (MP)”
Thank you for your email via the GetUp organisation.
Until changed by referendum in 1967, well after the period during which Aboriginal children were removed by State Government Authorities, the Australian Constitution 51(26) explicitly forbad the Australian Parliament passing ANY LAWS relevant to people of the “aboriginal race”. How then can a Government claim to express sorrow for things the Parliament never did and claim they are not involving the general community who elected the relevant State Governments?
Whilst I am unaware of your association with aboriginal people, mine as a resident of Northern Western Australia between 1958 and 1980 and during my subsequent 27 years as a Federal Member of Parliament has given me a very extensive knowledge and understanding.
Whilst I could continue at length, the “sorry” will not be for those who reside in today’s remote aboriginal communities. They and their offspring were the ones left behind. I will continue to object to the use of the Parliament to stage a Welcome Ceremony and doubt that the traditional owners of Canberra, good people that they are, continue to possess the skills of dance and ceremony to conduct a “welcome” as proposed.
Under aboriginal cultural law, no other group or person has the right to welcome people to the land area that encompasses the Parliament.
Above all a new Government should give priority to substantial matters, be it for Aboriginals or the wider community.
If you disagree that your interest rates, grocery prices, working conditions, health services and children’s education are of lesser importance than “sorry” please reply accordingly and I will forward that reply to the relevant Minister to ensure they know they have absolutely nothing to worry about if they fail to meet their numerous promises.
HON WILSON TUCKEY MP