Labor MP Linda Burney has stepped up in her fierce criticism of the appointment of Tony Abbott as special envoy for Indigenous Affairs.
The indigenous deputy is scathing about the new role of the former prime minister as details emerge about what the work entails.
"This is just a joke, they are inventing it as they go along with Tony Abbott as a special envoy for indigenous Australians," Ms. Burney told reporters on Monday.
"The aboriginal leaders are clear, they say they do not need an envoy, they can defend themselves.
"There are many pioneering organizations, articulate people and people who understand what the indigenous space is about."
Mr. Abbott will report directly to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and will work closely with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion.
He will also work with Education Minister Dan Tehan to address school performance and attendance among indigenous children.
Morrison said Abbott "will not be limited by the usual limitations of a minister" as a special envoy.
Abbott said he had some initial doubts about standing in the way of the responsible ministers, but he was confident that he would have productive relationships with them.
"My job between now and the next election is to do my best, make recommendations and put them into practice," Abbott told the 2GB radio on Monday.
"Nigel Scullion is a good guy and we've worked well together before and I'm sure we're going to work well again."