Aboriginal senator Jacinta Price has blasted a politician as ‘immature’ after she threw up a Black Power salute and refused to pledge allegiance to the Queen.
Outspoken Greens senator Lidia Thorpe marched onto the floor of the Senate chamber on Monday morning and defiantly threw up her fist as she prepared to take her oath and be sworn in to parliament.
Ms Thorpe begrudgingly swore to serve the Queen, who is still Australia’s head of state, after deriding the 96-year-old monarch as a ‘coloniser’ on Monday.
First Nations senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said is Ms Thorpe didn’t want to take the oath then ‘simply don’t take the job’.
‘There is definitely a level of immaturity about that kind of behaviour. If you want to be a protester, then this isn’t the place for it,’ she told The Australian.
‘Go ahead and join the resistance, but we are there to be legislators for the benefit of our nation. I think it is just disruptive behaviour.
‘The majority of us in the Senate today … just saw it as contemptuous behaviour.’
Lidia Thorpe strode into the Senate with her fist in the air and mockingly called the Queen a ‘coloniser’ during her swearing-in ceremony in the Senate chamber on Monday
Fellow First Nations senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured in the chamber on Wednesday) has said if Ms Thorpe didn’t want to take the oath then ‘simply don’t take the job’
The display was reportedly met with ‘groans’ from the politician’s upper house colleagues as Senate president Sue Lines asked Ms Thorpe to repeat the affirmation correctly – which she did so in a sarcastic tone.
‘Senator Thorpe, Senator Thorpe, you are required to recite the oath as printed on the card,’ Ms Lines said to the smirking senator.
Greens leader Adam Bandt retweeted a photo of Ms Thorpe with her fist in the air with the caption: ‘Always was. Always will be’.
Radio host Ben Fordham said the Greens senator thought she was ‘starring in a reality TV show’ and would use every opportunity to ‘pull a stunt’.
‘She thinks it’s The Lidia Thorpe Show,’ Fordham said on his 2GB show on Tuesday morning.
‘Her only concern is making herself the centre of attention.
‘I think she is the greatest fake in Parliament – fake claims of racism, silly stunts and an ego bigger than Parliament House.’
The leader of the opposition in the Senate, Simon Birmingham slammed the senator’s performance as ‘unnecessary and disrespectful’.
2GB Radio’s Ben Fordham (pictured) said the Greens senator thought she was ‘starring in a reality TV show’ and would use every opportunity to ‘pull a stunt’
‘As senators, we all have a unique opportunity to pursue change but should respect the institutions through which we seek that change while arguing for it,’ he said.
Thorpe posted a photo from the moment, tweeting: ‘Sovereignty never ceded’.
Australia was a British colony for more than 100 years, a period during which thousands of Aboriginal Australians were killed and communities were displaced.
The country gained de facto independence in 1901, but has never become a fully fledged republic.
In 1999, Australians narrowly voted against removing the queen, amid a row over whether her replacement would be chosen by parliament, not the public.
Polls show most Australians are in favour of being a republic, but there is little agreement on how a head of state should be chosen.
First Nations senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured) said there was a ‘level of immaturity’ about Ms Thorpe’s display and said parliament wasn’t the place for protesters
However, scores of social media users criticised Senator Thorpe’s behaviour on Twitter with one commentator branding her an ‘absolute idiot’.
‘A total embarrassment to parliament and those she claims to represent,’ they said.
Another commented: ‘Racist, anti-Australian, hate speech spewing trolls like you have no place in government and should be behind bars.’
‘How childish Lidia… Another look at me moment for you. Can you please tell me one good thing you’ve done for indigenous Australians?’ a third said.
It comes as the Greens senator claimed that Australia’s parliament had no permission to exist – and that she was only a member so she could ‘infiltrate’ the institution, while still accepting the salary and benefits of a parliamentarian.
Scores of social media users criticised Senator Thorpe’s (pictured) behaviour on Twitter with one commentator branding her an ‘absolute idiot’
Ms Thorpe, who has both European and Aboriginal ancestors, said in June that her entry into the ‘colonial project’ of parliament was due to her aspirations to ‘renew the nation’ and be a voice and spokesperson for First Nations people.
The senator is part of a family succession of women who have had careers in Aboriginal activism: her grandmother Alma Thorpe established Victoria’s Aboriginal health service while her mother Marjorie Thorpe was part of the national inquiry into what became known as the stolen generations.
Appearing on Channel 10’s The Project last month, the senator said she also removed the Australian national flag during press conferences after Greens leader Adam Bandt was criticised for the same move.
‘The Australian flag does not represent me or my people,’ she told the panel.
‘It represents the colonisation of these lands, and it has no permission to be here, there’s been no consent, there’s been no treaty, so that flag does not represent me.’