Jobs Events Advertise

Joint select committee on the Voice travels the nation

Callan Morse -

Following the Federal Government's announcement of the proposed Voice referendum question, a joint select committee has begun travelling regional Australia to hear feedback from First Nations communities about the legislation's wording.

After the first public hearing was held in Canberra, the committee headed west to the New South Wales city of Orange before heading north to hear from Torres Strait Islanders and Far North Queenslanders in Cairns, with sentiment towards the Voice in both regions positive.

In Orange, proud Wiradjuri man Roy Ah-See told the committee an enshrined Voice to parliament was an opportunity to unify the nation.

"Our path is your path. Our future is your future. Our success is your success. Our failure is your failure. Our story is your story," he told the committee.

"Together, it becomes our history."

Meanwhile in Cairns, Torres Strait Island Regional Council Mayor Phillemon Mosby told the committee he considered the Voice 'unfinished business'.

"We stand with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters of this country, as Torres Strait Islanders, we support the Voice to parliament," he said.

"We feel that this is unfinished business and continues the job that was done by our predecessor, the late honourable Eddie Mabo, who overturned the doctrine of terra nullius."

The committee will travel to Perth next Friday before returning to Canberra the following week, with a final report set to be delivered to parliament in mid-May.

The joint select committee's consultation period comes following public support from the Voice from a number of former Liberal Indigenous affairs ministers.

Ian Viner, Fred Chaney and Peter Baume, who all served the Indigenous affairs portfolio in the 1970s and '80s have publicly backed the Voice referendum, whilst also supporting Ken Wyatt and Julian Leeser's respective decisions after Opposition Leader Peter Dutton announced the Liberal Party's opposition to a constitutionally enshrined Voice.

Mr Leeser resigned from the shadow Indigenous affairs portfolio and opposition frontbench earlier this month, allowing him to return to the backbench and campaign for the Voice whilst Mr Wyatt announced his resignation from the Liberal Party entirely.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said the support shown by former Liberal MPs is representative of broader Voice support from across the country.

"There is a groundswell of support across Australia to say Yes to the constitutional recognition, through a Voice," Ms Burney said.

"I acknowledge the support from across the political aisle from people like Ken Wyatt, Ian Viner, Fred Chaney and Peter Baume.

"I encourage all Australians to walk with us on this journey. At the end of the day, this referendum is not about politicians. This referendum belongs to the Australian people."

On Friday morning Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue's advice to the government on the Voice was released.

In it Dr Donaghue said the proposed amendment "is not just compatible with the system of representative and responsible government prescribed by the constitution, but an enhancement of that system".

"(The Voice) serves the objective of overcoming barriers that have historically impeded effective participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in political discussions and decisions that affect them," he wrote.


Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation helping First Nations people achieve their goals
Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation chief executive Joe Morrison believes First Nations people and community are at the heart of...
Brendan Foster 21 Feb 2024
Cape York Peninsula's Land & Water Plan seeking insights on top priorities and threats
Cape York Natural Resource Management is initiating a new Land and Water Plan to oversee natural resource management on Cape Yor...
Joseph Guenzler 21 Feb 2024
New co-payment medication subsidy for Indigenous patients in Queensland
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients across Queensland will be able to access a statewide medication co-payment subsid...
Dechlan Brennan 21 Feb 2024
Unis need new angle for attracting Indigenous engineers
The work of Aboriginal engineers has survived thousands of years but universities are missing out on attracting a new generation...
Rudi Maxwell 21 Feb 2024

   Callan Morse   

Partner sues prisons over Indigenous inmate's death
A woman is suing the NSW prison system and inmate healthcare service over the death in custody of her partner after a coroner fo...
Duncan Murray 15 Feb 2024
Uluru resort could hit the market as owners mull sale
The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation is exploring options for the Ayers Rock Resort, the only place for tourists to stay when...
Rudi Maxwell 15 Feb 2024
Darlington set for National Indigenous Cricket Championships return
Australian international Hannah Darlington is set to return to the National Indigenous Cricket Championships after being selecte...
Callan Morse 15 Feb 2024
Tasmania to field youthful men’s squad at National Indigenous Cricket Championships
Tasmania has announced a youthful men’s squad for this year’s National Indigenous Cricket Championships, the tournament set to t...
Callan Morse 15 Feb 2024