12 September 2023

ACT-focused No campaign kicks off, calling on Canberrans not to just 'go for the vibe'

| Claire Fenwicke
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Former Canberra Liberals MLAs Greg Cornwall and Bill Stefaniak joined SA Senator Kerrynne Liddle (centre) to launch the ACT No campaign

Former Canberra Liberals MLAs Greg Cornwall and Bill Stefaniak joined SA Senator Kerrynne Liddle (centre) to launch the ACT No campaign. Photo: Supplied.

Former Canberra Liberals heavyweights have come out in force at Parliament House to officially launch an ACT-centric campaign for the No vote on the Voice.

The referendum for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament has been set for 14 October, with the ACT Chief Minister already expressing his hope the Territory will have the highest Yes vote in the country.

Former Attorney-General and Liberals MLA Bill Stefaniak said while he understood the sentiment behind the Voice – and that it could be a reality given Canberra’s more left-leaning voting views and history of favouring referendums – he encouraged people to read each side of the argument.

“I simply encourage people, especially Federal public servants who will have to work out how to implement this … to inform yourselves, to look at it, don’t go for the vibe,” he said.

“This potentially has huge ramifications for Australia.”

Given some Liberals have come out in support of the Voice, the group wanted to let Canberrans know there were also those who had a different opinion.

Mr Stefaniak said they were “under no illusions” that Canberra will probably have a majority Yes vote, but that didn’t mean they shouldn’t try.

“We want to maximise the No vote. Even if we can change 2000 minds, we would be very happy,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see the No vote [here] in the 40s [percentage range].”

READ ALSO Curtin and Hughes residents invite everyone to join hands – and say Yes

Pushing the No case doesn’t mean the group completely dismisses the idea for Indigenous Australians to have a say in things that would impact them.

Rather, this group is aligned with the argument being made by those such as Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price that having one group to represent the voice of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians isn’t adequate.

“I can’t see the Voice helping at all … at best, it will be an extra layer of bureaucracy for the inner-city elite, which won’t represent those Indigenous Australians out in communities,” Mr Stefaniak said.

“How is this going to unite the country and not divide it? … [This] has the best intentions to help, but in reality it could create an underclass.”

The group doesn’t believe an Indigenous Voice should be enshrined in the Constitution; instead, it says state and territory governments should write laws that could then be repealed if it was discovered they weren’t working as intended.

“The big problem is having it in the Constitution. It could create huge problems because you basically can’t get rid of it,” Mr Stefaniak said.

“By all means, legislate as much as you want, because if it turns out you don’t like it, you can get rid of it.”

READ ALSO ‘Unwelcome interference’: Federal Senate committee recommends against Canavan bill to amend Territory’s Self-Government law

The uncertainty around how the Voice representative group would be chosen is another sticking point.

“We basically think it’s a crock of the proverbial as no one can explain how it will work, who is on it and who is not, which groups are on it and which ones aren’t, and how this will all work,” Mr Stefaniak said.

“It’s just a very dangerous concept to put up an idea when we have no idea how it will work in practice … and then on a wing and a prayer hope it works.”

Instead, Mr Stefaniak said the Constitution’s preamble could be changed to recognise not just Indigenous Australians but all communities who have come to Australia through migration.

“It can describe our rich, historical background of Indigenous peoples going back 65,000 years and the vibrant multicultural communities which have come since,” he said.

“Then everyone gets a guernsey … and it’s a statement of fact about who we are.”

Mr Stefaniak encouraged everyone to closely read both sides of the argument in the Australian Electoral Commission’s explanatory brochure, which has been arriving in every letterbox around the country.

“Don’t go on a vibe. Make an informed vote.”

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It would be interesting to see the consequences if the outcome is in favour of Yes. Thinking future requests for voice referendums to be drawn up similarly for Voice for People with Disabilities, Voice for People of Race, Voice for Pride, Voice for Women etc etc etc.

pink little birdie10:37 am 15 Sep 23

Perhaps it’s time for for the Riotact to do an article on the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elected body which has been acting as a voice to the ACT government since 2008. http://www.atiesb.com.au
Quietly achieving things for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT.

How can anyone with a fully functioning brain be expected to vote for something that NO one can definitively explain?
If you do not understand it, do not vote for it.

If you do not understand it, seek out the information that is readily available.

You understand it Will Newby! It just suits you and your side’s agenda to pretend you don’t!

Pro tip for Jack D.
How about picking apart your opponent’s argument with logic or your own arguments.
All you seem to do is link whoever with some right wing group then dismiss them.
Your silence is defeaning.

Don’t read my posts then franky22. I don’t read yours.

Based on your past comments though, I don’t think we would gel anyway!

This has already turned out to be the most divisive campaign most of us will remember. Now the leading advocate and candidate for the Voice accuses opponents, or the reasons for doubt (I’m not sure which) as being stupid and racist. The Voice is already exposing itself as the voice of vitriol, insults, nastiness and intolerance. With more to come.

Hi Acton, just to be accurate about who said what. Professor Marcia Langton, who is a leading advocate for the Voice (not “the” leading advocate) and is not a “candidate” as the referendum is not an election with “candidates”, said that some of the claims being made about the Voice were racist and stupid. She did not say this about voters. To be honest, there is a lot of misinformation circulating out there from shadowy figures behind these claims.

Thankyou acton2

Astro2:- as the co-chair on the Senior Advisory Group of the proposed Voice to Parliament, Langton is both ‘a’ and ‘the’ leading advocate for the Voice. I may be wrong, but with her profile, advocacy and background she will almost certainly be a candidate for the Voice forum in whatever form it takes, should it get up.
Ok, for the sake of accuracy listen to her own words, at 1:16 of this video:

“…then there is the hard No voters, and I’m hoping that they’re about 20%, and they’re the ones who are spewing the racism…”

It is public statements and attitudes like this that are divisive and which attempt to shut down legitimate debate through insult and intimidation.
Opposing the Voice does not make someone racist. Arguably, the opposite.
Democracy requires debate. Without debate there can be no consensus. With no broad consensus a referendum will fail.

hi Acton, you can repeat what you previously said but that doesn’t make it correct. Professor Langtonon is not “the” leading advocate. Other leading advocates include Minister Burney, Noel Pearson, Ken Wyatt (Liberal), Thomas Mayo, Rachelle Perkins. That’s just an example, so. no, Professor Langton is not “the” leading advocate as there are quite clearly others. Does this bother you? She may be a candidate for the Voice, however considering she is in her 70’s she may want to retire as most Aussies do at that age (or younger actually). In regards to public statements, yes, she did say that there are racists. This is quite easily proven by the bigotry coming out of social media comments. She did not say that opposing the Voice made someone a racist. Nor did she say that there shouldn’t be a debate.

This campaign is really bringing out the worst in people. This is really unsurprising coming from Greg Cornwall whose extreme views are well known within the Liberal party. Not to mention his commentary in local media. 

Bill Stefaniak’s right wing views are also well known. This includes blustering against the Chinese in the letters pages of our local paper. I did expect though that he, of all people, would be a little more charitable and understanding in his opinions. What weasel words in support of your stance Bill against the Voice as well as describing this most important of referendums as “a vibe”.

Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee and members of her party who previously expressed support for the Voice have been cowed by the party and are silent. What hope do the Canberra Liberals have for its future electoral prospects with the party’s leader in hiding during this most important of campaigns and those from the extreme right – Jeremy Hanson, Bill Stefaniak and Greg Cornwell leading the No campaign?


That classic quote from The Castle nicely sums up the Yes vote campaign justifications, or lack thereof.

So Jan, do you think that a slogan of the negative campaign “If you don’t know vote no” encouraging aussies to remain ignorant, shows a “vibe” reason to vote No? How about you try “If you don’t know find out” that’s what resourceful Aussies do.

The point of the slogan is that insufficient detail has been released about the proposal, as it stands, the potential outcomes of both the Voice powers and functions are too broad, with no evidence that it will achieve any positive outcomes for Indigenuous Australians.

So it’s impossible for anyone to “find out” because the detail doesn’t exist.

Or as Albanese himself said in reference to the history of referendums and in particular the 1999 republic referendum.

“What I am not going to do, David, is to go down the cul-de-sac of getting into every detail. Because that is not a recipe for success”. He deliberately choose to be vague in the proposal in an attempt to get people to vote on a concept.

Everyone is ignorant when they refuse to publically provide the details and claim they’ll be worked out later.

The No campain has from the start asked for more details to be provided and met with calls of racism for asking.

If you think that enough detail has been provided please share with the rest of us, we’ll all waiting to hear it.

Who gets to be on the voice?
How do we stop the voice getting corrupted?
How much is the new rent?
What extra rights will the voice members have over ordinary Australians?
Which of the aboriginals does the voice represent? How will differences in stance of different aboriginal groups be handled?

Why does the voice need to be enshrined in the constitution?

How will the voice actually help? Why aren’t these things already done?

How does any of the above work with UN declareation of human rights that everyone has equal access to government and no discrimination on race or colour?

No Chewy14 that’s not the point at all as there is plenty of information out there to be accessed. Sorry but “lack of detail” doesn’t cut it. Sadly, there are people using this as an argument because they have no reason not to support an advisory Voice to Parliament. You haven’t refuted the point that “If you don’t know not no” is not what Australians do if they don’t know about something – they find out. And the sources are there: https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/referendum-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-voice
There are plenty more links to information. We don’t’ like an appeal to ignorance thanks.

Well, so far your worst people are 58% or so of the voting population. At least you can pat yourself on the back you’re one of the select, morally pure, better people on this earth, rather than part of the contemptible groaning masses.

As to all these supposedly far-right extremists in the Liberal Party. At least, while they’re playing the role of being the worst people, they aren’t spitting “racist” and “stupid” at everyone who disagrees with them. No, they actually use civil argument to make their case rather than ad-hominems. Such is the way of far right wing extremist worst people. Or, maybe, just a thought, they’re ordinary people, conservative indeed (but you’ll never eradicate that from the world, no matter what culture you’re in), with their own views and experience: always worth considering that, instead of demonising and judging. All in all, chase the ball, not the player.

those links only confirm what I said, thanks. I’ve already read them and numerous others on both the Yes and No side.

You can choose to agree or believe that information but it’s just as easy to speculate other outcomes as many people have done. Funny that people want to describe other people’s speculation as “misinformation” whilst engaging in the same practices.

None of it is what we are being asked to vote on and the potential outcomes of a conceptual question are very broad. The government could have avoided this by, for example adopting a specific voice model to take to the referendum.

But they didn’t because in Albanese’s own words they didn’t want the detail being picked apart like it was in the 1999 republic referendum. It was a deliberate tactic to go down this route, so they can hardly complain about how people have approached it.

If you don’t like an appeal to ignorance why are you promoting it?

Design principles is not the same as detail.

Design principles as you linked show that this thing we are voting on has no details yet. As its not designed yet. Hence why they are giving design principles.

If you are at the design stage any of several outcomes are possible and nothing is detailed or set in stone. Any detail at the design stage is held with a tempory nature.
If it was a locked in detail you wouldn’t be in the design stage.

None of the links you post or arguements have any weight.

You wouldn’t be able to give the level of detail you have to someone to go and start off the voice without working out more of the unknowns first.

“We don’t’ like an appeal to ignorance thanks.”
This doesn’t apply to this situation? Yes there is some similar events in that there is no detail. However we’re not proving anything is false, merely the lack of detail and a forced deadline means that it would be irrational to vote on something so major with no detail.
Thats clearly not the logical fallacy that is meant by “appeal from ignorance”

All the arguements made from the YES campain are fairly non sequitur!

Hi gooterz, let’s just take your points one by one. Firstly, you appear to be accusing the founding authors of our Constitution due to the fact that they didn’t “publicly provide the details and claim they’ll be worked out later.” Why didn’t they provide all the details of taxation for instance? A little food for thought for you. Secondly, you are also claiming that people are being met with claims of racism for asking for more information about the Voice. Could you please tell us who exactly said this and when? ‘Otherwise you are making a false claim and i’m sure you wouldn’t want to do that. Thirdly, in relation to your questions: Q-Who gets to be on the Voice? A-Indigenous representatives from across Australia. Q-How do we stop the Voice getting corrupted? A- the same way that we stop any other public body getting corrupted – checks and balances in our system of governance. Q-How much is the new rent? A- $0.00 as there is no new rent. Q-What extra rights will the Voice members have over ordinary Australian? A- None, as the Voice is an Advisory body. It doesn’t spend money and it doesn’t make laws. Q-Which of the Aboriginals does the Voice represent? A- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Q-How will differences in stances of different Aboriginal groups be handles? A- the same way that any other differences in stances of other bodies are handled. Of course people will have differences of opinion over individual issues. Q-Why does the Voice need to be enshrined in the Constitution? A-So that it isn’t politicised. Q-How does the Voice actually help? A- By listening to First Nations people directly. Q-How does the above work with the UN Declaration of Human Rights? A- it works in very well as it does not disadvantage non-Aboriginal people because it is an Advisory body. I hope this information helps you in your quest for more knowledge.

astro2 – That is blatantly misrepresenting the no case and you very well know it. “If you don’t know vote no” is a reference to the fact that the yes campaign are intentionally witholding details on exactly how this will work until after the vote and they have openly admitted this.

Do I need to link the article from the SMH, directly quoting Albo, admitting that this is what he was doing, yet again?

“Details about a proposed Indigenous Voice to parliament will not be known before a referendum on the issue, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says, arguing he does not want a repeat of the failed 1999 republic referendum.”

What a profoundly dishonest way to attempt to run a national referendum.

Ignoring the majority of your continued speculation, I’ll just focus on two points in your response to Gooterz.

“Firstly, you appear to be accusing the founding authors of our Constitution due to the fact that they didn’t “publicly provide the details and claim they’ll be worked out later.” Why didn’t they provide all the details of taxation for instance? “

This was already explained to you in another post when you then went missing.

Taking your example of taxation, it wasn’t an existing power that could be legislated for, so required constitutional support as part of Federation. The Voice can already be legislated without a referendum so is fundamentally different to that sort of power.

But taxation also provides a perfect example of how a broad power will be used over time, with outcomes that could not have been envisaged by those voting in 1898. The current taxation law is extremely complex and government taxation revenue has expanded enormously over the last 100+years.

Which is why additional constitutional powers should only be given where a clear need has been determined. In this case, the arguments for specific constitutional rather than legislative change seem to boil down to “so it can’t be removed”, which is extraordinarily weak justification.

It’s level of permanency is actually an argument against constitutional change, particularly for something that can already be legislated and trialled.

“Secondly, you are also claiming that people are being met with claims of racism for asking for more information about the Voice. Could you please tell us who exactly said this and when?”

Well, amongst others, Marcia Langton who was on the government’s constitutional working group and is one of the authors of the Voice model most referenced by government.


You should probably follow the news more, hope this helps on your quest for knowledge in understanding the arguments both for amd against this proposal.

chewy, those links confirm that there is information out there in the public sphere about the referendum. As you’ve said that you’ve already read them, then that’s confirming the point that there is information available. Yes, you can speculate anything you like, however to deliberately put information in the public sphere, stating things that one knows aren’t true. (for example, if someone says that the Voice will be able to allocate funds, when they know that it won’t) then that is misinformation. I hope this makes it clear. I’m sorry that you seem to be confused about appealing to ignorance. Whose ignorance are you actually trying to appeal to? If. as you suggest, there should have been a specific model prior to a referendum which gives authority to have a model, then why didn’t the founding authors of the Constitution do the same for taxation or any of the other sections of the Constitution?

Bob- if you’re making an accusation of misrepresentation best to back up with facts. No-one is “intentionally withholding details” from anyone, any more than our founding authors of the Constitution were “intentionally withholding details” of taxation when they included the power for the Australian Government to levee taxes on Australian citizens. Did people jump and down screaming “More details! More details!” when that power was included in our Constitution? Nup. So I suggest you read back on your history books before further conspiracy theories.

“As you’ve said that you’ve already read them, then that’s confirming the point that there is information available.”

Yes, Information that is not part of the proposal we are being asked to vote on and is insufficient in answering the questions around detail that people are asking.

“Yes, you can speculate anything you like”

I know, as you repeatedly have engaged in on what you believe the Voice will achieve. All without evidence or support in what is incorporated into the referendum question.

” I’m sorry that you seem to be confused about appealing to ignorance. Whose ignorance are you actually trying to appeal to?”

I’m most definitely confused about your ability to communicate a coherent point. Less so about your reference to a logical fallacy that you have regularly engaged in yourself.

As for your last (unintelligible) sentence. If I’m translating correctly, it has already been answered above and previously multiple times.

“Did people jump and down screaming “More details! More details!” when that power was included in our Constitution? Nup.”

Actually they did. Fears of the broad taxation powers leading to greater amounts of taxation was one of the key arguments used by those in opposition to the Federation referendums. Hard to say their “speculation” was wrong with 20/20 hindsight now, isn’t it. Talk about an own goal.

Chewy14, yeah really? Well that’s odd because, unsurprisingly, your claim isn’t showing up in the Constitution. Where is that detail you spoke of? Like you said, talk about an own goal.

Sure Chewy14, I’ll take it that the other points are accepted. Relating to the two issue you commented on, your view on the lack of detail in the taxation and other elements of the Constitution doesn’t appear to be relevant. You didn’t address the question regarding why the founding authors of the Constitution supply detail about taxation….”it wasn’t an existing power that could be legislated” certainly wouldn’t have prevented any detail being supplied. Regarding your view that a clear need hasn’t been provided for establishing a Voice, your opinion isn’t shared by people that work in the field and by a majority of Indigenous representatives themselves. I suggest here that you take a walk in another person’s shoes and read the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Lastly, you’ve misquoted Professor Langton who certainly didn’t claim that people asking for information are racist. There was nothing in the article supporting this and you should also note that there is legal advice being sought over the News Corps claims.

What are you on about now?

“You didn’t address the question regarding why the founding authors of the Constitution supply detail about taxation”

I did, you just didn’t understand it, which is clear from your follow up statements.

Slowly now, taxation wasn’t an existing power available to the government without inclusion in the constitution.

However the benefits and necessity of that power were clearly shown both in the arguments for Federation and how the newly federated country would require revenue as well as the history of government taxation dating back thousands of years. The powers were debated over a number of years in development of the constitution.

It is a broad power by design to meet permanent governance challenges that couldn’t be solved without a Constitutionally enshrined taxation power.

It isn’t remotely comparable to the Voice which can already be legislated and does not represent a solution to a permanent solution to a problem that cannot be solved otherwise. The government is already completely free to consult with their citizens in any manner they wish.

“Regarding your view that a clear need hasn’t been provided for establishing a Voice, your opinion isn’t shared by people that work in the field and by a majority of Indigenous representatives themselves”

And they are welcome to their opinions. Luckily, in a democracy, everyone gets an equal vote for equal representation. Something funnily enough that the Voice would erode.

“I suggest here that you take a walk in another person’s shoes and read the Uluru Statement from the Heart”

I would suggest you read it, along with all the supporting material in its development and the actual stated positions of what activists and representatives have claimed they want to promote once the Voice is enacted. Hardly misinformation to take people at their own word.

“Lastly, you’ve misquoted Professor Langton who certainly didn’t claim that people asking for information are racist.”

They are direct quotes.
“Every time the No cases raise their arguments, if you start pulling it apart you get down to base racism,” she told a forum on Sunday.”

One of the key No arguments being that not enough detail is available and more information should be provided. By Langton’s own words, asking for more detail is a racist argument.

“Ordinary Australians are thinking Yes, of course I am voting for the Voice and that would be 48-49 per cent. Then there is hard No voters and I am hoping they are about 20 per cent and they are the ones spewing racism.”

She linked this group to Opposition leader Peter Dutton and Nationals leader David Littleproud as they had “committed their parties to advocating a hard No case for the question”.

“Moreover their arguments are [specious],” she added. “Appealing to their racist base with claims that the proposal will racially divide the nation.”

The attempt to backtrack on years of similar comments by many Voice proponents is funny if not totally expected. Obviously we are supposed to ignore the things these people actually say when it suits the Yes case.

“you should also note that there is legal advice being sought over the News Corps claims.”

No there isn’t. Langton said she may seek legal advice over an instagram post by Peter Dutton.

Reporting what people actually say isn’t illegal. Well yet anyway.

I’ve always wondered who’d be silly enough to fall for Nigerian Prince scams, now I know – Yes voters.

I reckon most Aussies can smell BS a mile away, and at the moment most (according to polls) can smell the Yes campaign BS from over the horizon.

Luckily the more the Yes campaigners try to justify their illogical views without actually addressing any of the obvious issues and outcomes, the more everyone’s BS meters will peak.

All Australians should be treated equally under the constitution. To treat people differently based on race is the definition of racism. This inconvenient irony is completely lost on Yes voters.

Whatever money was earmarked for the voice would be better spent on the education system and likely cyber crime.

“A- it works in very well as it does not disadvantage non-Aboriginal people because it is an Advisory body.”

The government will have powers to give powers to the ‘advisory body’ which will have no oversight. Because if there was oversight there would be details and there isn’t any details.

Article 21 Paragraph 2 of the human rights:
“2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.”
I take it the voice will have to listen to non-aboriginal australians too? and make sure their wishes are known and put to the public service / parlament.
Advocacy is a service provided by the voice to Australians? is that provided equally and not provisioned on the basis of race?

“It doesn’t spend money”

It sure does, the voice spends money on running the voice? You don’t expect people to work for free.
The only ones that don’t get money are the land rights holders that are forced to defend their ownership or landholdings from native title claims some 42,000 in NSW and others in QLD.
The native title seekers have their costs paid but those defending don’t.
Why would the ‘voice’ be different an excempt from funding. Where is your evidence or detail that the voice wont spend any money?

If your view that if the voice is free we can disband all the similar groups that do similar advocacy and save money? I’m amazed that these people work for free.

Do any other government entities not spend any money?

Bigger question: If its all so simple and so obvious, why wasn’t it done earlier? Why are some of the details being worked out afterwards. If it was that straight forward and easy to understand why wasn’t it done 20-30 years ago?

Astro, have you ever wondered if your missing something, your currently sitting on the minority side of the opinion?

Hi chewy14, I don’t think you get the point. So let’s try re-phrase this. “…taxation wasn’t an existing power available to the government without inclusion in the Constitution.” OK, so how does that prohibit detail about the proposed taxation being included in the Constitution? The reason why is that such detail is not included anywhere in the Constitution about anything because that is not the purpose of the Constitution. (That applies to all the sections by the way, not just taxation, although taxation is a good example).It’s neither relevant nor accurate to say that details of taxation powers were somehow forbidden to be included. Also your point about the reasons for taxation to be included in the Constitution being different from the Voice lacks any validity. There are many different inclusions in the Constitution about various issues. As previously explained, the reasons why the Voice isn’t just left up to legislation is due to the fact it could be changed over and over again, thus lacking in consistency. This is not an issue that should become a political plaything of right wing activists. Your quote from Marcia Langton shows that she was referring to ‘No’ arguments, not voters. Different thing isn’t it. The Australian has pulled their incorrect article down, Peter Dutton hasn’t. Will leave you to consider that. The Australian pulled theirs because they didn’t record what Marcia Langton said. You still haven’t provided a quote where Marcia Langton said that asking for more detail meant that you are a racist.

Hi Gooterz, yes agree with more spending on education, it is vital. And the best outcomes for this and other policy areas is always when we listen to the people affected. That’s why there is a Voice proposal. Regards your second point of no oversight, the normal Parliamentary processes will oversee the Voice. This information has been made very clear from the start. Everyone still has the normal access and rights to Parliament that they do now. If you think this would be any different perhaps you could explain how. Thirdly, no it doesn’t spend money as it is an advisory body so doesn’t have any authority to spend money. Normal operating costs would apply to any advisory body. Your points about land rights are unsubstantiated and have no relevance to the advisory body that is the Voice. If you are looking for the wording about why the Voice doesn’t have authority to expend funding then here it is (this is a direct quote from the proposed change to the Constitution that we are voting on): “the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Making representations does not include expending funds. In regards to other groups that expend funds these would be different to the Voice. I think you are confusing funding expenditure powers and normal operating costs that all advisory bodies have (e.g. a secretariat service and meetings). Your last question about why the Voice wasn’t proposed earlier is a good one. Unfortunately, some previous governments who could have set this in motion years ago declined to do so (kicking the can down the road.) However, we’ve finally got to this point to do so. Similar to the marriage equality issue which could also have been passed many years ago. Australia was a bit slower than many other countries on that issue. But, as the PM says. “If not now, when?”

You seem to be making comments around a position I don’t hold and have previously explained to you multiple times.

“OK, so how does that prohibit detail about the proposed taxation being included in the Constitution?”

I have not suggested that significant additional detail needs to be included in this or any other constitutional amendment, so I don’t know who you’re arguing against.

The government can provide detail and adopt specific models around the proposed change outside of the actual amendment. It’s really not that hard to understand. They could prepare and release draft legislation if they so wished.

“Also your point about the reasons for taxation to be included in the Constitution being different from the Voice lacks any validity”

Except you can’t explain even remotely how.

“As previously explained, the reasons why the Voice isn’t just left up to legislation is due to the fact it could be changed over and over again, thus lacking in consistency.”

As previously explained, “So government’s can’t remove it” is not a remotely convincing reason.

Also, under the currently proposed change, the government can change the functions and powers of the Voice, so your point about “consistency” is wrong.

“This is not an issue that should become a political plaything of right wing activists”

Of course. You think it should only be a plaything of left wing activists instead. Which is the real underlying reason for wanting it to be permanently enshrined in the constitution.

Because it means that if it isn’t working and future governments try to improve it, not only will they have to deal with their political opponents but they will also have to deal with the Voice itself. Which will have significant levels of self interest in opposing any changes or improvements that they dont agree with.

It also assumes that Indigenuous disadvantage is a problem that is permanent, which I find abhorrent.

The attempted spin around Langton’s comments is extraordinarily weak. The implications are clear, deliberate and repeated. If it was a person on the No side using similar language or abuse, I know exactly what people on the Yes side would be saying.

Sad that you’re digging your heels in so hard against First Nations people having a Voice to Parliament Chewy14. At least we agree that the detail is not provided in the Constitution; however there is plenty of information on the Voice now. I’ve previously provided you with a couple of links, here’s a couple more:
Firstly from Monash University, de-bunking some of the myths put forward (this also deals with your query about putting legislation before constitutional amendment – that is at Myth 5 and also refers to further information in the Indigenous Voice Co-desgin Process Final Report.
And further information from Amnesty Australia:
The point about consistency is also explained in the links provided, which addresses your concerns regarding the ability of Governments to change it. Having an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is not a ‘left-wing/rightwing matter (which is why it is supported by both Ken Wyatt and Julian Leeser and other Liberal parliamentarians.) Your point about future governments seems a bit muddled, Parliament continues to have precedence over the advisory body that is the Voice if that is your genuine concern? Lastly, your point that somehow the Voice “assumes that Indigenous disadvantage is a problem that is permanent..” isn’t correct. This point has already been dealt with comprehensively, but, in a nutshell, the Closing the Gap reports will help you understand the depth of disadvantage and how long this will take to address. However, you’re partially right in that some time in the future (hopefully) it will no longer exist. This has been considered and the Voice would then take on the role of promoting Indigenous culture, languages, relationship with the environment, etc. So there’s plenty of ongoing work there in the distant future. I hope this assuages your deeply felt concerns for Indigenous people Chewy14. Your attempt at continuing to have a pile-on on what Professor Langton said, when it is patently clear that she was misquoted (I have provided the words she actually said) doesn’t help your argument, suggest you drop the continued “pile-on” attempts as the Australian has already done.

How does a voice help us to listen to people, where there is already a chance to listen to them but ignored? If they are ignored now, we can just ignore the voice too, unless it has powers.
So either way on either point you are wrong. You’ve made both sides to that arguement.

There is no normal parliamentary process for the voice. How are people chosen for the voice. If there are issues we can’t easily remove it without going to a referedum.

You’re then asking me to explain how, in an arguement that you have taken the view that there is enough detail and i’ve said there isn’t.

Land rights have nothing to do with the voice? “no relevance to the advisory body that is the Voice. ”
Whats the point of the voice if land rights are excluded? which body will take on that role? Voice 2?

“the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Sounds like its to make treaty.

The reason it wasn’t done before, is that its a completely useless and bad idea. Only divides the nation and not all Aboriginal community agree on what they want. They are a subset of people and not their own nation.

In rebutall. to the question:
But, as the PM says. “If not now, when?”

When does the voice no longer need to exist? does this voice extend out another 50,000 years? How do we know when the voice did what it needed to do?

I reason there is no public reason thats actually valid for the voice and its only there to support one side of politics. Its not for the advangement of Aborignal people, but purely as a means of corrupting parliament.

Why not fix parliament how it works rather than add on an entirely new beast.

You’ll excuse me if I take the “debunking of myths” from an organisation that has a stated position of support for the Voice with the ten tonnes of sand it deserves.

“Monash University is committed to supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart process to enshrine a First Nations’ Voice to the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia”

I’ve read it previously and it’s just simple “Yes” talking points with no substance or official backing. Perhaps I should post some of the IPA right wing talking points in response as if it’s definitive.

As for “myth5” they don’t actually provide any reasoning that detail can’t be given. Eg.

“Too much detail will lead to confusion, and many people will likely not want to read a lengthy document. There’s already a detailed report that sets out what a legislated Voice could look like: Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Final Report.”

LOL, reading is apparently hard for some, so we can’t give detail on changing our foundational legal document

And as I’ve previously said, the codesign report has no official standing. The Voice “could” look like any number of things, which is exactly why the government could and should have already adopted a model and provided more detail.

The government can provide as little or as much detail as they want, but as we’ve seen, their current attempts has resulted in significant drops in support for the proposal because of it.

“Lastly, your point that somehow the Voice “assumes that Indigenous disadvantage is a problem that is permanent..” isn’t correct.”

And yet your reasoning is non existent. It is exactly correct and why on earth you think the closing the gap report is relevant for its permanency is beyond me. We’ve already established that the success or otherwise of the Voice is pure speculation.

“This has been considered and the Voice would then take on the role of promoting Indigenous culture, languages, relationship with the environment, etc.”

Bahahahaha. Now you are just pulling completely made up things from the air. Where is this remotely included in the referendum question?

I cannot truly believe that someone complaining about misinformation elsewhere would produce such a blatant and perfect example of it.

The level of disingenuous and emotionally manipulative points you have attempted to raise is exactly why logical thinking people who support true equality should oppose this ill thought out proposal.

I’m done here as you aren’t even attempting to logically address the merits or otherwise of this proposal. Ta ta.

Hi Gooterz, how can you be heard without a voice? No one is suggesting that government will agree to everything that the advisory body comes up with but the ideas and opinions will be considered by government. This is nothing to be worried about Gooterz. There are currently normal Parliamentary processes for selection of representatives for committees, advisory bodies and Boards. This isn’t a problem, it’s part of the process.The important thing to remember is that the Government retains its powers. If you want more detail I can point you in the direction of plenty of links (and have provided these in other posts so I suggest if you want more information please avail yourself of these sources. They will help fill the gaps if you are genuinely seeking more information. The focus of the Voice, if the Referendum is passed on 14 October, will be health, housing and education. I’m not sure how you conflated the wording that I provided from the actual Constitutional amendment as “making treaty”. It doesn’t say that does it Gooterz. The Referendum does not divide the nation any more than an election does. As you would be aware, elections divide us into opposing parties, that’s divisive isn’t it – Liberal, Labor, One Nation, Greens, Independents…..yet somehow, it all seems to function ok doesn’t it. Unless you want a one-party state there will always be division – that’s part of democracy. I’ve previously addressed the question of the longer term future and how the Voice would operate when our goal of equal outcomes in health, education, longevity, etc is reached. It’s already been considered and addressed. The Voice is not there “to support one side of politics”, the list of Liberal supporters is extensive but I won’t go into the full detail as there isn’t space in this post.

Hi Chewy14, yes I’ll excuse you for not accepting the views of universities and any other qualified bodies with knowledge you clearly don’t have. The information being posted is actually for people who are genuinely seeking further information from qualified sources such as universities and constitutional experts. It’s clear that you’re not interested in further information and never were, being one of the hard liners against Indigenous people having a Voice to Parliament. The information supplied regarding future roles of the Voice (and this would be a fair way into the future as they will have a substantial amount of work for some time on the issues already previously raised in Closing the Gap) actually came from the Minister, it wasn’t made up by me and was in answer to your question. I’m happy to keep answering any further questions you may have but if you just want to keep LOL’ing and Bahahaha-ing, (perhaps thinking that this is incredibly funny or an intelligent response to anything) then i’ll leave you to it. Finally, you seem to be making a point that the success of the Voice is speculative as it hasn’t been implemented yet. No one ever said that it was 100% guaranteed but nor was the implementation of the federal Parliament itself, prior to its implementation. That’s not a very profound comment to be honest. However, implementing the Voice is listening to the people who most understand the problem and that’s a great start and an entirely appropriate response.

Can we just stop this myth that it’s conservative voters who are voting no. I’m not and I will be. As will a large number of my labor voting friends and colleagues.

We have a body to represent indigenous Australians – it’s called the government and it represents all of us at both federal and state level.

HiddenDragon7:28 pm 13 Sep 23

“The referendum for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament has been set for 14 October, with the ACT Chief Minister already expressing his hope the Territory will have the highest Yes vote in the country.”

Unless some of the more provocative Yes campaigners take a vow of silence for the next four and a bit weeks, the ACT may also be the only jurisdiction which votes Yes.

The Canberra Liberals are going all out fermenting anger against the Voice to Parliament. One has to wonder where the party’s leader Elizabeth Lee and her colleagues have been throughout this whole process with deputy leader Jeremy Hanson doing all the work. They have been silent!

Where the heck is Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee and her party advocating for the Voice to Parliament?

Mr Hanson has strong links to the Advance Australia group. AA is anti Voice and has been prominent throughout the campaign. AA was formed in 2018 during the marriage equality campaign with adherents blaming wokeism for everything that goes against their beliefs. This includes the authority of the church, gender identity and environmentalism. The group was active in targeting David Pocock during the 2022 federal election. AA’s president is recently retired Liberal MLA and speaker Vicki Dunne and the group is strongly linked to former senator Zed Seselja.

We now read that the Canberra Liberals have now engaged former Canberra Liberals leader Bill Stefaniak and his then colleague, speaker Greg Cornwall in support of their campaign. Bill Stefaniak and Greg Cornwall are well known for their extreme right wing views and regularly appear in the media to advance their opinions. They also have strong links to the Canberra Liberals and the Advance Australia lobby group.

Jeremy, Bill and Greg are all assisted in their cause by affluent and high profile Indigenous mates who are also fearmongering against the Voice and appear hostile to their own peoples’ needs.

Who is the real leader of the Canberra Liberals and where is supposed leader Elizabeth Lee?

Shocking isn’t it Jack, imagine having a political party where individual members get to have and voice different opinions on an issue.

With recent polling showing over 40% of ALP voters are on the No side, it’s strange that so few of their representatives have been courageous enough to take a stand against the dogma of the party. Where are they?

Good, but I think you mean “fomenting”.

You are exactly right Roy Forward! How I hate making spelling mistakes, I could kick myself.

I’ll blame it on the keyboard or go back to school!

John Anderson (ex Deputy PM) debunks 4 myths of the voice proponents in this 10 minute video. John says “the voice would permanently institutionalise racial politics, it would perpetuate unjustified intergenerational guilt, and it would divide Australians according to their race”.

Hasn’t the current system already done that? Colonisation/Invasion requires a remedy that will not make a difference to the lives of anyone but the original inhabitants of this country

Crazed_Loner1:01 am 15 Sep 23

1. The Constitution already has powers which can single out people by race, the so-called ‘race powers’. 2. It’s not a matter of guilt, it’s a matter of truth-telling and recognising that all we are today, good and bad, is a result of our history which isn’t something to be glossed over in some Pollyannaish attempt to wipe the slate clean for ourselves. 3. John Anderson? Save me. He’s gone full weird RWNJ, just as Garry Johns formerly from the other side of politics also has.

More than a little irony in retired politicians whining that they don’t have every detail of every part of a proposal before voting on it, when most of their campaigns were all around ‘trust us’, full of vague policy ideas at best.

Unjust laws can be shot down for being unconstitutional. You can’t just change the part of what constitutional means willy nilly.
Many of our laws are defined in ways to say there is no discrimination. This change throws a cat amoung the pigeons.

Australia is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Having an racist based voice has issues with articles 1, 2, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, 26, 30.
Not to mention the media censorship laws designed to help bring in the voice.

The voice aims to re-write history, we’ll end up with 2 party systems like NZ. We’ll end up with mindwashing and re-education programs like Canada and China. We’ll get locked out of parts of our own country and end up with less rights and freedoms than others. Works that tell the truth but don’t paint certain groups or rights in the voice designated best light will be banned.

how does the Voice aim to “re-write history” could you explain your theory?. Also I direct you back to the Mabo decision where the same types of people said we’d be “locked out of parts of our own country.” Never happened. Just fear-mongering and hysteria by the usual suspects.

Why can’t all Australian citizens have a voice to parliament why just aboriginals?

Stephen Ellis4:43 pm 13 Sep 23

We do. We elect them every 3 years. This voice is designed to provide one group of Australians the ability to influence both the politicians and the bureaucracy and to take it to the High Court if they don’t get their way.

Not to mention have no defined accountability. Its a labor designed backdoor to get what they want.

At least they broadcast what the politicions say, the voice will be behind closed doors and run like the decisions did during covid.

They’ll likely base the voice in voicetoria, so they can illegally arrest journalists.

Because as it has become quite clear; The authors of the proposal are leftist activists, the Labor government will fill “the voice” with nothing but leftist activists and they will be near impossible to get rid of if the referendum gets up.

If the Coalition get back in power and tries to change the members of the voice there will be nothing but screeches of racism from the aforementioned leftist activists and Labour party.

It’s pretty obvious that this is primarily about political leverage. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the obvious.

…and to the yes voters, they can easily prove me wrong by releasing details of how all of this will work BEFORE the vote but we all know that they have zero interest in the public getting to see the detail of what they are pushing.

As people become more and more informed on the issue, the yes vote has dropped through the floor. An informed voter base seems to guarantee that their divisive race based politics will fail.

Oh dear Bob “leftist activists, do you mean like Ken Wyatt, the previous Liberal Minister for Indigenous Affairs.? Or Julian Leesser, previously Shadow Attorney -General?, both of whom were involved in the proposal.

Quite fair reporting of the “no” case as spoken by Canberra Liberals. It seems to me that most “no” voters have no problem with devising legislation for some sort of high level advisory body, but question why, unlike other statutory authorities, it needs to be engraved into the constitution. So far the only answers to that are “because that’s what Aborigines want” (though evidently not all if them want it), and “so it can never be removed” (no matter how dysfunctional or corrupt it becomes). Neither answer is convincing to independent thinkers.

Stephen Ellis4:44 pm 13 Sep 23

Couldn’t agree more.

I love how it seems that all of the No campaigners and voters are people who aren’t even going to be around to see what a Yes vote would do to Australia!

Balance needed1:23 pm 13 Sep 23

I assume smiffs meant “what a Yes vote would do FOR Australia.” Probably the majority of No voters are very concerned about what a constitutionally enshrined Voice would do TO Australia. Legitimate concerns that are met with ad hominem attacks such as “racist” and “very stupid”, straw man arguments such as “that is fear-mongering” or ridiculously dismissive instructions to Google the detail, when nobody knows what that detail would be.

“what a yes vote”. Everyone gets a vote. There will be millions of votes. What is one vote going to do?
We should raise the voting age to 25-30. Give your generation a change to pay some taxes before you pretend to know how to spend mine!

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