The annual Closing the Gap statement used to be one of the signature events in Parliament, an occasion for the major parties to signal a lot of virtue while lamenting their collective failure to lift disadvantaged indigenous Australians.

It was quite more subdued this time around, with the overwhelming rejection of the voice to Parliament at last year’s referendum looming large. The virtue signallers and activists – as well as Labor and the Greens – are still licking their wounds over not getting the ‘yes’ result to which they all felt entitled.

As senators Hanson and Roberts pointed out in their contributions this week, the referendum – divisive as it was – produced an important outcome: it exposed the failures of the unaccountable aboriginal industry to close the gaps despite the hundreds of billions of dollars thrown at the problem over the years.

More and more Australians are demanding answers. Why has so much money gone to waste? Why do indigenous activists and leaders live in mansions and drive luxury cars while other indigenous Australians live in poverty and violence? More of us are demanding a comprehensive and forensic audit of the industry as the first step. This is the priority for One Nation, which has been sounding the alarm about racial inequality since Pauline Hanson first exploded upon the national political scene in 1996.

The One Nation leader again reminded the Parliament this week that only by upholding the principles of Australian democracy – equal rights for all and special rights for none, assistance based on individual need rather than skin colour – will disadvantaged indigenous Australians ultimately be empowered. Only by upholding the rule of law and ensuring equality before the law will justice ultimately prevail for all Australians, regardless of race.

That’s what we stand for, and have always stood for: one people and one nation, under one flag.

Senator Malcolm Roberts addresses the Senate, discussing the results of the Closing the Gap Annual Report, Government funding to Indigenous communities, and his support for a bill proposed by One Nation's Sarah Game to repeal the South Australian Voice to Parliament legislation.