Citizens to oppose Indigenous Voices to Parliament

The federal National Party has confirmed it will not support the constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

The main point:

  • The government plans to hold a Vote for Parliament referendum in the next 18 months
  • Nationals was the first major party to confirm it would be campaigning against Voice
  • They argue that Suara will do little to support Aboriginal people in the regional community
  • Leader David Littleproud said his party consulted regional communities across the country before reaching its decision.

"Unfortunately, we got to a position where we didn't believe this would actually close the gap," he said.

Most of the Nationals' ballroom stood beside Mr Littleproud as he announced the decision.

NT Senator Jacinta Nampiginpa Price, a Warlpiri-Celtic woman who has long campaigned against the Voice, said she was "very pleased" with her party's position on the issue.

"What we need now are practical steps and we must stop dividing our nation on the basis of race," he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised to hold a referendum on the Vote during his first term.

A Voice for Parliament would be a permanent body representing First Nations people that would advise the government on Indigenous policies.

In July, Albanese released draft questions that could be asked of Australians.

By announcing their decision, Nationals became the first major party to openly campaign against Voice.

The Liberal Party has yet to decide on its position.

Mr Littleproud said he wanted to empower local people, rather than create more bureaucracy in Canberra.

He said he was "proud" to lead a party that had "the courage to go forward and to say we stand with Indigenous Australians to ensure they have a better life, is not really symbolic".

The Nationals leader represents Maranoa voters in west Queensland, where he said Aboriginal elders had not been consulted about the Vote.

"Traditional owners in west Queensland, some of them say to me, 'I don't know what this is, mate. It means nothing to me. It's not going to help me, so thanks for asking.'

"But the fact that no one has asked them, then you have to ask yourself as an Australian, are they going to have a voice?"

The federal government, in last month's budget, committed millions of dollars to advancing core Indigenous affairs policies, embodying the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Referendum on Indigenous Votes to Parliament will receive $75 million, with most of the funds going to the election commission to prepare and increase the number of First Nations registered to vote.

Australians have faced 44 referendums since Federation. Only eight were successful.

Green Party senator Barbara Pocock described the National Party's decision as "deeply disappointing".

Senator Nampijinpa Price said Australia did not need a Parliamentary Vote to recognize Aboriginal people.

"Recognition is not a Voice for Parliament," he said.

"It's a bureaucratic structure, a whole new government structure that we don't have details on that should be put in place with some sort of priority over our current Westminster system." This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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