Jacinta Price reflects on reaction to her maiden speech, said she relished watching Labor senators ‘squirm and grimace’

Indigenous Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has reflected on the moment she made Labor senators “squirm and grimace” during her maiden speech to Parliament.  

Senator Price used her opening remarks to the Senate chamber in late July to advocate for real change for Indigenous people instead of “pointless virtue signalling”.  

Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Sydney on Saturday, Senator Price told how she relished delivering the “cold hard truth to Labor”. 

The Country Liberal Party Senator said her speech announced to “this woke, sycophantic, spineless Labor government that their statements were fashioned from fantasies and lies”.    

“With my traditional Warlpiri headdress in place, I relished every moment of delivering the cold hard truth to Labor and watching them squirm and grimace,” Senator Price said.

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Senator Price said she had managed to crawl under the skin of Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Penny Wong, the leader of the government in the Senate, with her remarks.

She added Senator Wong had left the chamber without shaking her hand or offering congratulations on her maiden speech as is tradition in Parliament. 

“I can safely say nothing told me I had my message any louder or any clearer than seeing that I had effectively managed to crawl right under the skin of Penny Wong,” Senator Price said.

“Her bolt from the Senate floor to avoid following Senate tradition mind you, as government Senate leader to shake my First Nations hand and congratulate me on my first speech was a clear indication I thought.” 

During her maiden speech, Senator Price highlighted key issues Indigenous people face such as the high rates of domestic violence in communities and rampant alcohol use.

“My goal is to halt the pointless virtue signalling and focus on the solutions that bring real change,” she told the Senate chamber.

“That changes the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens – solutions that give them real lives not the enduring nightmare of violence and terror they currently live.”

Senator Price is also a vocal critic of the Albanese Government’s proposal to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.  

She told CPAC the government was attempting to “create racial separatism” through the Voice, which would advise the government on issues affecting First Nations people.  

Senator Price, the former deputy mayor of Alice Springs, won her spot in the Senate at the May Federal Election.   

She is one of 11 Indigenous parliamentarians, alongside Linda Burney, Marion Scrymgour, Dr Gordon Reid, Pat Dodson, Malarndirri McCarthy, Jana Stewart, Jacqui Lambie, Kerrynne Liddle, Dorinda Cox and Lidia Thorpe.