Australia's parliament express regret over 'blackbirding' in the 19th Century | Pacific Beat

Australia's parliament express regret over 'blackbirding' in the 19th Century

Australia's parliament express regret over 'blackbirding' in the 19th Century

Updated 2 September 2014, 8:24 AEST

Descendants of the Pacific islanders who were brought to Australia in the 19th century to work in the sugar and cotton industries were yesterday acknowledged in the Federal Parliament.

A Queensland MP, George Christensen, moved the motion that expresses regret over the treatment of some 60,000 South Sea Islanders who were blackbirded.

The motion says the men were essentially kidnapped or lured onto ships and then transported to Australia to be used as indentured labour.

It also celebrates the contributions of their descendents and calls for measures that would see today's Australian South Sea Islanders included as a separate group of people in the national census.

The motion was seconded by MP Keith Pitt, who spoke with Catherine Graue.

Presenter: Catherine Graue

Speakers: Keith Pitt, Hinkler MP

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