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Time frame for nominations and enrolments for South Australia's Voice to Parliament extended

Callan Morse -

The nomination and enrolment deadlines for South Australia's Voice to state parliament have been extended.

It comes as the SA government announced an extension of the time frames, previously planned for September of this year.

The decision to extend the schedule was made in consultation with both the South Australian Electoral Commissioner and the Commissioner for First Nations Voice Dale Agius, who jointly advised for the extension due to the increasing prominence given to the Commonwealth Referendum, with the 'Yes' and 'No' campaigns causing confusion and making it harder to inform communities about South Australia's First Nations Voice to Parliament, and how people can enrol and nominate.

Mr Agius said his advice was based on conversations and feedback he had received from First Nations South Australians.

"I have been continuing to have conversations with community about South Australia's First Nations Voice and how they can be involved through the first elections to represent their communities and local regions," Mr Agius said.

"I am hearing more and more that people are needing more time to learn more about the final model and how to get involved with the elections, but that the debate around the National Referendum is making this increasingly challenging.

"People have told me that having more time is something that would be beneficial, to go through the referendum process, and to then focus on participating in the SA Voice elections."

Under the new timeline, the nominations period for those wishing to stand for election for a Local First Nations Voice will be held between 22 January 2024 to 12 February 2024, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander South Australians wishing to vote in the Voice elections required to be enrolled by 12 February 2024.

South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Kyam Maher said the South Australian First Nations Voice to State Parliament remained a historic first for the nation.

"The clear advice I've received from both the Electoral Commissioner and the Commissioner for First Nations Voice is that the work being done in South Australia is being overshadowed by the debate occurring at a national level around both the 'Yes' and the 'No' referendum campaigns," Mr Maher said.

"We have done so much work to support the South Australian Voice and it will be proceeding regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

"By allowing for more time, we're giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Australia the opportunity to fully understand how they can get involved and take the time to campaign, with distance from the discussion about the national Voice."

Polling for the South Australian First Nations Voice to Parliament will be held on Saturday 16 March, 2024.

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