Permanent And More Powerful

Written by: and
1 August 2023
Permanent And More Powerful - Featured image
  • The National Voice would be constitutional, permanent, and more powerful than the Voice to Parliament established by the South Australian state government.
  • Both the National Voice and the SA Voice would be divisive and disrupt the day-to-day running of parliament and government.
  • But the SA Voice retains administrative safeguards that the National Voice would not have, including that the elected parliament in South Australia can change or abolish the SA Voice if the voters decided it was necessary.

South Australians will play a crucial role in the forthcoming referendum on whether to permanently enshrine into the Australian Constitution an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (the National Voice). Altering the Constitution requires the approval of a majority of voters nationwide and a majority of voters in at least four states, making South Australia a key battleground state in a referendum. It is critical for South Australians to be fully informed about the decision they will make at the national referendum.

Uniquely among the Australian states, the South Australian state government has established its own Indigenous Voice to parliament (the SA Voice). Any assumption that the proposed National Voice will be in form or substance similar to the SA Voice must be tested. The purpose of this research paper is to use the publicly available information to compare and contrast the SA Voice and National Voice against 10 criteria of good governance. The analysis finds:

  • The SA Voice fails to meet four criteria, passes four criteria, and is unclear regarding two other criteria of good governance.
  • The National Voice would fail to meet eight criteria, pass one criterion, and be unclear about one other criterion of good governance.

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