COMMENT by CHARLIE CARTER
Senator Price is trying to mislead us, by misrepresenting the nature and origin of the proposed Voice.
This time in the form of a glossy leaflet in the letterbox.
In the leaflet she alleges that it is the Prime Minister who has put forward the referendum question, but it comes directly from the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
It specifically says: “We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.”
Albanese is responding directly to that request.
She says that the Voice is “constitutionally controversial”.
Constitutional legal experts from the Australian Solicitor General on down have categorically rejected this claim.
She says: “The Parliament can’t change the Voice.”
This is wrong. The Parliament will determine the nature and functioning of the Voice.
Which is, of course the origin of her completely contradictory claim that the Voice is “poorly defined”.
She says: “It embeds race in our constitution and will divide the nation.”
Race is already in our constitution. Section 51. Legislative powers of the Parliament: The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to … (xxvi) the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.
She says: “Indigenous Australians are already consulted and have a say.”
Yes, they have been.
The Referendum Council appointed by then Prime Minister Turnbull and leader of the opposition Shorten travelled around the country and met with over 1,200 Aboriginal people. 250 delegates attended the National First Nations Constitutional Convention at Uluru.
And they said: “We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.”
IMAGE: Government promotion for Voice referendum.