20 March 2023

Canberra Liberal MLAs given choice over Voice to Parliament vote

| Claire Fenwicke
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Elizabeth Lee, MLA

Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee said politicians should be able to have their own say on the Voice referendum rather than follow a party position. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberra Liberal MLAs have been told they won’t be bound by a party position when it comes to voting on the Voice to Parliament referendum.

The party has confirmed it won’t establish any formal position on the controversial issue.

Leader Elizabeth Lee said a referendum allowed all Australians to have their say, and it shouldn’t be any different for politicians.

“The Canberra Liberals acknowledge and respect the diverse range of views on this issue amongst Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” she said.

“The purpose of a referendum is an opportunity for all Australians to have their say; to have their vote on this important issue and for many it is very personal. It is also important to note that this is not a vote that is before the ACT Legislative Assembly.”

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The stance comes after Chief Minister Andrew Barr was accused of pushing a ‘personal crusade’ to achieve the highest Yes vote in the country on the issue.

The ACT Government was also accused of not specifically consulting with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about this stance, to which it argued there had been “six years of consultation” on the matter more broadly.

Ms Lee said this just highlighted the “continued devastating impacts of poor outcomes” for Indigenous Canberrans under the current Labor-Greens government.

“The Barr-Rattenbury government did not even consult with its own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body before putting forward an executive motion in support of the Voice,” she said.

READ ALSO Many voices will be heard over wording for Voice referendum

“It is clear there is a long way to go for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans as we have raised concern about for some years now and we will continue to consult with the communities.”

All state and territory leaders agreed to support a Voice to Parliament during a meeting at the start of February.

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Trevor Willis6:36 pm 20 Mar 23

A yes vote is an opening to APARTHEID,
which nobody has had the foresight to mention

@Trevor Willis
For those of us lacking your “foresight”, would you care to explain the link.

When will Elizabeth Lee, this pretend moderate, show a bit of backbone and free herself from the shackles of the right-wing conservative fogies who control her and the party?
All state and territory leaders in Australia have officially backed the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The regressive and backward looking Canberra Liberals, in attempting to play politics and wedge the government, are the only party in Australia who will not support the Voice. Not now, not ever!!
Recent media reporting revealed the overwhelming support from Australians for the Voice to Parliament, with over 80% of Canberrans supporting the proposal.
Elizabeth Lee and her party like to muddy the waters and pretend that there has been no consultation with local Indigenous communities. The ACT has the local Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB), the only such advisory body in the country.
The Uluru statement was released in 2017. A Voice to Parliament based on the statement has been widely reported since then. ATSIEB and many other local Indigenous groups have been fully engaged with the government on this issue. This has included meetings, working groups and briefings. Is Ms Lee suggesting that local Indigenous communities are not out there involved in discussions with the government and oblivious to discussions on the Voice?
Yes, there are many diverse views on the Voice to parliament. Not all views are equal and many are racist and hate filled.
When Ms Lee calls for all views on the Voice to be considered. Despite the overwhelming support for the Voice, is she suggesting that racist views are equal and worthy of consideration?

“When Ms Lee calls for all views on the Voice to be considered. Despite the overwhelming support for the Voice, is she suggesting that racist views are equal and worthy of consideration?”

Well you seem to be suggesting she should force other people in her party to support an inherently racist proposal, so you seem perfectly fine with racist voices having their say.

The most recent Newspoll shows only 53% support which is slipping as more detail (or lack of) becomes known, so it’s hardly “overwhelming”.

Ms Lee’s position is perfectly reasonable for a proposal to entrench further racist powers in the constitution.

Estelle you either do not know what You are talking about or are purely lying. All party leaders have not backed the voice only the premiers and Chief Minister’s have. To say the Canberra liberals are the only party not to support is not even remotely true.

No Tom Philips I suggest that it is you who doesn’t know what you are talking about! I said that all State and Territory leaders have backed the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and they have. The agreement was reached at the national cabinet meeting on 3 February 2022. Anthony Albanese announced it following the meeting and it was widely reported in the media. Google it!!

So how does that equate to the Canberra Liberals being the only party in Australia not to actively support it? That is a false claim. Have the federal libs supported it, QLD libs, SA Libs etc etc. yes all premiers and chief ministers have agreed to support it which is what I said that does not equate to every party in Australia supporting it except the Canberra Liberals. You have literally just made my point for me

Oh semantics Tom Philips! My comment that All State and Territory leaders have backed the Indigenous Voice to Parliament was followed in another sentence by the term “only party”. To make you feel better, I should have used the term “only State or Territory party”. You have used a single part of my comment to take my argument to a new level!

Liberal party members despair at the choices made by the party. The Canberra Liberals’ constant negativity at government policy without putting forward any ideas or policies of their own and the decision not to announce a formal position on the Voice demonstrates Elizabeth Lee is not fit to lead. As the only state or territory leader not to take a position on this important issue she shows an enormous lack of foresight. She is a follower not a leader, a trojan horse for the conservatives to sneak their way into government.

ACT voters deserve better!

I do have a bit of knowledge of the tensions and despair within the Canberra Liberals. These tensions are at boiling point and widely canvassed within the party. They are deeply felt and vented freely particularly at local branch meetings.

There are fractions between the party leader and her deputy. There are also fractions between her and other members of her party. One of her party members was forced to resign due to bullying. She is not even on speaking terms with another!

The right-wing fogies of the Canberra Liberals control Elizabeth Lee and the party. She should save face and free herself from the party’s conservative shackles or resign. But a sense of arrogance and a lack of courage ensures she won’t do that.

But who else do they have? Deputy leader Jeremy “Jack Boot” Hanson?

I despair!

GrumpyGrandpa9:26 pm 20 Mar 23

My understanding is that the NSW Premier has been quoted as saying he supports “The Voice” in principle. That’s a long way from 100% full support.

As for the Labor Premiers who are publically committing to The Voice, are just playing party politics, because they, like the rest of us are still waiting for Albo to provide the details!

No Australian can or should commit to The Voice, until the details are provided.
If it is sound, I’ll support it, but until I get the details, it’s a definite NO from me.

hahaha thanks for the Laugh Estelle but I won’t be taking anything you have said as fact or resemblance of any truth.. It is quite clear based on all your comments you are a stooge for the Green/Labor party and have no evidence to back up your wild claims which is probably why I have not seen them published by any reputable media outlet.

What I can assure you of Tom Philips is Elizabeth Lee is a patsy for the right-wing conservatives and climate change sceptics who control the party. The party’s leadership and its elected representatives are all right-wing conservatives. The party also has strong links to the Advance Australia fringe group whose president is Vicki Dunne. The Canberra Liberals are the most right-wing branch of the party in the country.

These right-wing nutters have destroyed the party and Elizabeth Lee is a conduit for them to get into government.

ACT voters are the losers!

I will not support such a party and will do everything in my powers in in the lead up to the next election to ensure these wreckers never make it into government!

So Estelle will think about voting for the Liberals when they turn into a left wing party.

And then she will vote for the ALP/Greens anyway.

It’ll come out that the Kings powers conflict with the voice and we’ll have to dump the king to become a republic to enlist the voice.

We can acknowledge the first nations people in the constitution without putting the voice in there. They are two different issues, purposely conflated as one .

Calling everyone a racist that says no should be a red flag. Everyone has a long and interesting familiy history. None should be more revealed than another, everyone should be equal.

Giving a select group more powers is not democracy, and doing it by race, is racist.

Not every first nations people believes in the voice but strangely their voices are not being listened too. So sounds like its a broken system from the get go.

How much money is the ACT wasting on promoting this junk?

Bob the impala1:44 pm 20 Mar 23

“It’ll come out that the Kings powers conflict with the voice and we’ll have to dump the king”

OK. What’s the catch?

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