“It is becoming clearer by the day that Australians are sick and tired of being treated like fools by Voice to Parliament advocates who simply refuse to explain what changing our Constitution will mean for our nation,” said John Storey, Director of the Institute of Public Affairs’ Legal Rights Program.
It has become a hallmark of the referendum campaign that when the Prime Minister, and other advocates, are asked to explain critical details about the Voice to Parliament proposal, they invoke the Calma-Langton report.
Specifically, when asked in an interview on 18 January 2023 on the 2GB Ben Fordham Live programme whether members of the Voice would be paid, the Prime Minister answered, “go and have a look at the Calma-Langton report.” In that interview he deflected on no-less than four occasions to the report for detail.
Today, the IPA has released an analysis of the Calma-Langdon report and the detail it contains, which found:
- The Calma-Langton Voice plan would potentially create an additional 850 new politicians, over 4,000 political staffers, at an annual wage bill in excess of $600 million – half the annual government hospital budget in the Northern Territory.
- The Calma-Langton Voice plan would be pre-occupied with niche concerns of inner-city elites and the activist class, rather than improving indigenous outcomes. The terms “gender”, “diversity”, and “inclusion” referenced over ten times more than “disadvantage” throughout the report.
- The Calma-Langton Voice plan would be undemocratic. The report does not once mention the term “democracy” and the method for selecting Voice participants would be determined by local communities, which means closed-shop nepotism would be rife.
“When put under the microscope, the Calma-Langton report shows how undemocratic, unfair, and divisive the Prime Minister’s preferred model for the Voice will be, with a wages bill alone that will likely cost over half a billion dollars a year,” Mr Storey said.
“As the Parliament votes next week to approve the referendum process, Australians are deliberately being kept in the dark by a government that is attempting to pull the greatest constitutional con-job in Australian history.”
“This proposed model for the Voice to Parliament was clearly designed by activists for activists to push their own agenda, rather than improve the lives of Indigenous Australians,” said Mr Storey.
To download the IPA analysis click here.