Australia’s Constitution is our most important legal document. Every word can be open to interpretation.
Australia hasn’t changed its Constitution since 1977. This would be the biggest change to our democracy in Australia’s history.
This is a big decision. However, the Government won’t reveal key details before the vote.
Enshrining in our Constitution a body for only one group of Australians means permanently dividing Australians.
Many Indigenous Australians do not agree with this.
This Voice will not unite us, it will divide us by race.
Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians and Warlpiri woman
We all want to help Indigenous Australians in disadvantaged communities, to close the gap and achieve reconciliation.
However, more bureaucracy is not the answer.
This Voice model isn’t just to the Parliament, it goes much further – to all areas of “Executive Government”. That includes all government departments, agencies and other bodies (like the Reserve Bank).
Decisions in relation to the economy, national security, infrastructure, health, education and more, would all be within its scope.
The Australian Parliament deals with hundreds of pieces of legislation a year.
This Voice’s scope goes beyond Parliament, covering departments, agencies and all areas of “Executive Government”.
How would the Voice handle this?
The legal uncertainty and the absence of details raises the question: what comes next?
Some Voice supporters are upfront in saying this Voice will be a first step to reparations and compensation and other radical changes.
We don’t know how much additional funding would be allocated to this Voice.
That’s another detail that would only be determined after the referendum.
There are currently hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative bodies at all levels of government.
This Voice is not a trial or pilot program. It will not be in legislation that can be reversed.
Once it is in the Constitution it won’t be undone.
Once the High Court makes an interpretation, Parliament can’t overrule it.
We will be stuck with the negative consequences forever.
This referendum is not about simply recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
That can be achieved without tying it to a risky, unknown and permanent Voice.