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HomeAustraliaDo not label Voice opponents racist, says SA prime minister

Do not label Voice opponents racist, says SA prime minister


“You should always advocate for change,” said Malinauskas. “You have to win the argument for change. And I’ve never won an argument by berating people, or speaking condescendingly to people, or belligerently questioning their intended motives.”

Linking the proposed reform to women’s emancipation, Malinauskas said South Australia had a “unique position” in history in making major democratic reforms, noting that in 1894 the state was the first place in the world to gave women both the right to vote and to run for parliament.

“We have led the nation in that regard. It was something amazing. I see this as another example of that.

“I believe that the vote can be a very good thing. My assessment is that as a country it can only have a positive impact on indigenous affairs.

“Although I understand that there is always a moment of pause and caution before a change. I don’t think the arguments against the vote hold up in practice. So I think this is a good thing to do.”

“If done right, the eyes of the nation will be on us to see how this plays out and I think it can be a genuinely positive experience and positive demonstration for the rest of the country. This is worth doing, this is the right thing to do and will bring people together.”

The SA Voice can speak in parliament on any bill it deems appropriate and has the right to lodge protests with cabinet ministers and senior officials, he said.

“It has no voice in parliament and decides nothing,” the prime minister said.

“But it has an absolutely unfettered ability to protest to the parliament and government of the day. Quite simple actually.”

The SA approach contrasts with the federal Labor approach, which has not announced a formal structure.

“I think that’s a fair point and maybe more information will emerge,” he said.

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