Click here to download the research report.
If an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (the Voice) is inserted into the Australian Constitution, it will have the power to make ‘representations’ to the Commonwealth parliament and executive government.
The power to make representations implies the Voice will be representative. However, analysis by the Institute of Public Affairs finds the Voice is structurally flawed and could entrench urban bias and be unrepresentative of Indigenous communities, especially those in remote and regional Australia.
The analysis is based on publicly available federal government data and information, as well as the
only Voice model endorsed by the federal government—the model contained within the Indigenous
Voice Co-design Process Final Report to the Australian Government, known as the Calma-Langton
- Under the Calma-Langton Voice model, urban Indigenous communities would have 2.5 times more representation on the Voice than remote Indigenous communities.
- Under the Calma-Langton Voice model, only 30 per cent of the seats on the Voice would be guaranteed for remote or regional communities, yet over 70 per cent of Indigenous communities are in remote Australia. This is despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Indigenous disadvantage is experienced in remote communities.
- According to the Calma-Langton Model Voice, there would be 24 members of the Voice, with only seven guaranteed to be from remote communities. However, there are approximately 356 language, social, or nation groupings (communities) of Indigenous Australians in the country, according to a map produced by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.,
- There are 31 Indigenous communities that cross multiple state and territory borders. This risks communities being divided, or having double representation through Voice representatives from multiple states.
- 4 per cent of Indigenous communities are located in urban areas, 24 per cent are classified as being in provincial areas, and 72 per cent are in remote Australia.