cover image: The Australian Population Research Institute October 2023


The Australian Population Research Institute October 2023

4 Oct 2023 The Voice: self-determination is the problem not the solution Introduction The referendum on October 14 proposes to alter the Constitution by adding a new chapter, an Indigenous Voice, empowered ‘to make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to them’. [...] It would appear that the more the Voice has been debated, the more people have learned about it, the more focus on the Aboriginal leaders and the policy settings, assumptions and objectives behind it, the more support has evaporated. [...] The proposal and the problem Public support has been expressed in recent years for the recognition of Indigenous people in the Constitution, in the form of an acknowledgement of them as the nation’s ‘First People’. [...] Regarding ‘closing the gap’, the rationale for the Voice provided by the Albanese Government, the Indigenous leaders claim in the background documents that the Voice would enable more effective service delivery for disadvantaged and marginalised Indigenous Australians (and thus help ‘close the gap’). [...] Rather than how racist is Australia, the question that the referendum debate has thrown up is: how useless are our politicians, who have overseen the continuing disadvantage and suffering of the most marginalised of the nation’s citizens, and the expenditure of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on programs and services, under a policy setting that has failed? A Productivity Commission repor.
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