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Voice campaigners take aim at Peter Dutton's "alarming" misinformation

Jarred Cross -

The Uluru Statement's architects have hit back at the "alarming... level of ignorance and misinformation" demonstrated by Peter Dutton in his latest attack on the Voice to Parliament.

22 days out from the referendum, Mr Dutton claimed the Voice would be globally unmatched as a constitutional body, and would change the "fundamental democratic principle" of all Australians being equal in law, in a piece published by News Corp.

"It will confer a privilege on one set of Australians purely based on their ancestry," he wrote.

While Mr Dutton acknowledged "significant disadvantages facing many Indigenous Australians, especially those living in remote communities in the outback" he said the Voice "will not deliver the change and improvements we all desire".

"The Prime Minister is being deceptive when he says the Voice will be controlled by parliament and only advise on matters relating to Indigenous Australians,"he said.

He also attacked the intentions of those advocating for the advisory body.

"Activists are focused on using the constitutional power of a Voice to pursue an agenda driven by resentment and retribution – not the noble goals of reconciliation and improving Indigenous lives," Mr Dutton wrote,

The Uluru Dialogue responded that Mr Dutton's argument "demonstrates a level of ignorance and misinformation that is alarming in a man who is seeking to be the Prime Minister of our country".

The Indigenous advocacy group reiterated that parliament will have final say over matters on which the Voice gives advice, and that there are similar structures around the world.

"The Constitution has always divided by race, to the detriment of our people. A Voice corrects this," the Uluru Dialogue noted.

"When we asked Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through our Dialogues what changes they wanted to improve their lives, they were emphatic: no more Canberra bureaucracy. The Voice is supported by more than 80 per cent of First Nations Peoples precisely because it delivers what they have asked for: the ability to give direct advice to government on the matters affecting their communities."

Regarding the need for details on the structure of the Voice in advance, the Dialogue cited the High Court being constitutionally established in 1901, before the passage of the Judiciary Act two years later.

The Uluru Dialogue said that rather than the Voice being divisive, the "relentless flow of misinformation and lies" promoted by Mr Dutton and others opposed to the Voice, had caused division.

The referendum on the Voice is set for October 14.


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