22 September 2023: Missed the show? Listen back here.
Emma King joins Ruth and Phil from Darwin in this third conversation in EarthChat’s VOICE series where they aim to bring clarity about what it means to enshrine an Indigenous Voice into the Australian Constitution.
The YES and NO pamphlets sent out by the Australian Electoral Commission are sadly not much help. We reported last time that they were not ‘fact checked’ by an independent body, and according to The Constitutional Expert Group, the Australian Law Council, and other constitutional law academics, the YES pamphlet is essentially accurate, but the NO pamphlet has made a series of false claims and appears to be using fear tactics to mislead the voters.
With the waters being muddied by misinformation we need to do our homework to ensure we are clear about what is fact and what is fiction.
Fortunately, what is being proposed is actually very straight forward - this is what is means:
The Voice would be an advisory body that simply makes recommendations, it would not have powers to create nor stop policies and laws going ahead, and any advice it gave could theoretically be ignored.
Having a constitutionally enshrined Voice to parliament is considered a great starting point by 83% of First Nation’s People and many, many other non indigenous Australians, because it cannot be removed through changes of government nor legislation, and the recommendations made will directly come from a representative body on behalf of all First Nation’s People.
Emma King has lived and worked in the Northern Territory for over 20 years, working with
Indigenous and non-indigenous communities on environment protection campaigns and human rights issues.
- The Yes and No pamphlets are available on the Australian Electoral Commission website now:
- Two Fact Checking Sites of the YES and NO pamphlets:
- Indigenous voice to parliament: what is it and how would it work? (Video 8.35 mins)
- To help keep informed, tune into the Guardian podcasts on the Voice: