Why does everyone else have a voice?

11 October 2023 | Posted In: #144 Spring 2023,

There were 1,312 Commonwealth advisory bodies at 30 June 2023, but no ongoing First Nations Advisory Committee.


Currently, fire arms and weapons experts get a voice; tax practitioners get a voice; large business gets a voice; agriculture gets a voice; other population groups get a voice, other nations trading with Australia get a voice . . . but Australia’s First People do not.


This is a significant and deplorable omission that needs to be addressed by an enshrined Voice in the Constitution – with the form of that advisory body determined by the Commonwealth parliament.


We know that where advisory bodies are established administratively, they can be abolished at the whim of a minister or prime minister where the advice is not palatable. Speaking Truth to Power requires not only courage, but some constitutional and/or legislative safeguards. Enshrining the Voice in the constitution will mean there will be on an ongoing a body for a First Nations Voice. Its establishment and continuation should not at the whim of the party in power, but an expressed view of all Australians via the Australian parliament. Such constitutional enshrinement means that only parliament — with the consent of both Houses — can change the construction, status, and powers of the Voice. The current proposal rightly confers the power to legislate on the Parliament as-a -whole after a vote from the Australian people.


For more details see Inner Sydney Voice: https://innersydneyvoice.org.au/wp-content/uploads/isv-spring-2023-final.pdf