Senator Jacinta Price has accused the government of racism after her motion to hold a commission into the sexual abuse of Indigenous children was rejected.

In an emotional video posted on Facebook, the Country Liberal Senator said she was “furious” and “horrified” the motion, tabled in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, was voted down.

“I have never been so incredibly furious to have to sit through and listen to the speeches being made by members of this parliament as to why they are denying the voices of vulnerable children to be heard – our most vulnerable people to be heard,” she said in the video.

During her speech to the Senate, Senator Price shared real life experiences of child sexual abuse and neglect, including by once child she said was “beaten and raped by her own father” at the age of 15.

“[She] suffered horrific abuse for years and tried at first to get support with family who didn’t believe her … it wasn’t (she was taken) to police so she could make a report, and she had the incredible courage to be heard at the age of 17 and testify,” she said as she fought back tears.

“The judge in her case said the abuse had been protracted, prolonged and involved the use of weapons.”

“These are the children that the Labor government has now denied, that to me is racism, to ignore Indigenous children in this country who are suffering generation after generation from sexual abuse is I think, absolutely abhorrent to deny their voices through a royal commission.”

During the video, Senator Price called out independent Senator David Pocock and Greens Senator Dorinda Cox for turning down the motion, alongside Labor.

“I am so disappointed at the excuses she [Senator Cox] made for not supporting this given that in Western Australia, the children there have experienced the highest rates of sexual abuse in the country.

“…Yet excuses were made as to why the Greens don’t want to support our most vulnerable children. I’m just horrified and disgusted.”

Addressing his decision to vote down the commision, Senator Pocock told news.com.au “more urgent action is needed”.

“It’s clear from all the data that we need to do much more to prevent child sexual abuse right across our country. It’s nothing short of horrific that in Australia the prevalence of child sexual abuse sits at 28.5 per cent.

“But advocates, experts and First Nations elders in the ACT are united in saying that what is needed isn’t another Royal Commission but more funding for frontline services.”

He also noted the recommendations to come out of the 1987 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody “still haven’t been implemented by successive Coalition and Labor Governments”.

Senator Price also took aim at Labor Senator Tim Ayres’ speech during Senate proceedings yesterday in her video.

In his response to a question about the Voice, Senator Ayres compared singer Kamahl, who changed his position on the Voice after meeting with Indigenous comedian Dane Simpson and constitutional lawyer Eddie Synot, to Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, who walked back his offer to hold a referendum on constitutional recognition.

“He changed his mind more quickly and more often than Kamahl,” Senator Ayes told the Senate. “At least Kamahl is popular.”

He also condemned child sexual assault, labelling it “abhorrent”.

Addressing the comments in her video, Senator Price said: “Given I share those stories in my speech, that Tim Ayres would then proceed to make light of Kamahl during the referendum in his speech, it was just beyond words how just absolutely degrading it was to sit there and hear that.”

A royal commission into child sexual abuse and an audit into Indigenous spending in remote communities are the two key demands from the Coalition following the referendum.

Speaking to Sky News, Senator Price said she now has to break the news to survivors of abuse who asked her to put the motion forward on their behalf.

“I have to inform them now that their government is not interested in hearing their stories, understanding how they can improve the lives of those who are still in situations where they are being abused now and where we can prevent this in the future,” she said.

News.com.au have reached out to Senator Cox and Ayres for comment.



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