The group trying to stop the proposed Aboriginal vote before Parliament has officially launched their “No” campaign, arguing that the legislation would dramatically change the way Australia is governed and would not improve the lives of First Nations people.
Instead, the six-member panel, which launched its campaign on Monday, will propose an alternative strategy to support constitutional recognition, as well as a new parliamentary committee to focus on the rights of title holders, with the vote opposed.
The group is made up of former and current MPs and Indigenous dignitaries including National Liberal Party Senator Jacinta Nambiginpa Price and former Nyonggai Labor Party Chairman Warren Mundine.
The panel will be moderated by former Labor Minister and Charities Commissioner Gary Jones while former Citizens Leader John Anderson will be recruited as a keynote speaker.
The group has already called its campaign “Learn Better” and claims it will be the “foundation” group around which it will fight the issue of rejection.
The official campaign to oppose the federal government’s proposed Indigenous Voice will begin in front of Parliament on Monday and includes the country’s Liberal Senator Jacinta Nambijinba Price (pictured)
Former Labor leader Nyong’ay Warren Mundine is part of the ‘No’ campaign
The official campaign for Indigenous voice to parliament will begin in February when Australians can expect knocks on doors from both camps of ‘yes’ and ‘no’, ’emails’ and online advertisements.
The Yes side is preparing for a publicity stunt and blitz campaign, with an emphasis on targeting young voters.
As the Prime Minister announced that there would be no public funding for either side, the No Committee developed a fundraising arm to finance its campaign.
Writing Australian On Monday, Senators Price, Mundine and Mr. Jones said the government’s proposal was “misplaced and unnecessary”.
They said that “the Albanian government’s proposed vote in the Australian constitution is the wrong way to recognize Aboriginal people or help Aboriginal people in need.”
“The sound suggestion smacks of earlier paternity, without evidence that it will help those in need.”
The alternative proposed by the Commission for Referendum and Vote includes a three-point plan that seeks to recognize the former occupation of the indigenous peoples in the preamble to the Constitution.
She also proposes a permanent all-party parliamentary committee for indigenous title holders, and calls for more support for “indigenous organizations controlled by the indigenous community”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday that the voice was “a humble and gracious request for reconciliation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured) described the voice as a “humble and gracious request for reconciliation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”
“Across the country – every prime minister, every prime minister – they support yes in this referendum because this is about progress in the future, it’s about reconciliation,” he said.
“I’m not surprised that some radicals are against it, because that’s a mainstream proposition.”
But No campaign organizers will challenge the notion that the vote will have any impact on Australia’s system of parliamentary democracy, with Senator Price saying it could follow in the footsteps of Victoria’s first People’s Assembly.
The first People’s Assembly, which began in 2019, called for a number of seats in state parliament open to election exclusively by Indigenous Australians as well as the creation of a ‘permanent representative body with meaningful decision-making powers’ likening it to ‘lions’. Parliament’.
Ex-Natives leader John Anderson (pictured) has joined the official committee opposing the Aboriginal vote in Parliament
Senator Price issued a warning that such measures could “divide” the country.
“I think the prime minister needs to communicate his intentions to the Australian public,” she said.
“Will he stop a model like what is happening in Victoria so as not to create another parliamentary chamber?”
The No campaign will also be supported by right-wing activist group Advance, which has also warned that a federal vote will take over the Victorian First Peoples’ Assembly agenda.
The group said, “The state parliament’s version of ‘The Voice’ is an unexpected power grab that threatens to turn that state’s representative democracy on its head.”
The group also said the referendum would be “the first step in a wholesale transfer of money and power to one privileged group based on race.”
Anderson asked if the proposal was “as modest as the prime minister would have us believe”.
“Where’s the public defender’s advice?” He said.
“If it’s as fundamentally benign as they say it is, all my experience tells me we’d have that advice by now.”
The “invasion day” protests on Australia Day called for a treaty in front of parliament
Last week, Invasion Day rallies across the country called for a treaty to be concluded before constitutional recognition, as well as calls for a rescheduling of Australia Day.
Tens of thousands of people took part in nationwide protests, with several prominent speakers campaigning against the sound, including Green Party senator Lydia Thorpe.
In Sydney, Bundgalung woman activist and dongot Gumpinger Aunt Lizzie Garrett urged attendees to vote “no”.
“Liberal, Labor, the system is not for blacks,” she said.
We don’t want a voice, we have a voice. We don’t want whitewash.
The referendum will be held as early as August, although a September or October date has been touted as a more likely time frame.
While the Federal Opposition has yet to announce an official position on the vote, Opposition Leader Dutton accused the PM of treating Australians “like mugs” and demanded Labor flesh out its plan by answering questions about the details of the motion and its function.
Controversy over the sound has been highlighted in recent weeks as Alice Springs grapples with an out-of-control crime wave.
Last week, Albanese announced new measures to deal with the crisis, which has seen a spate of burglaries, robberies and violent crimes, primarily committed by young people, since the alcohol ban was lifted in July.
Mr Jones said there was nothing about building a voice for Parliament that would solve the cases of the recent violence in Alice Springs.
Explaining the Indigenous Voice to Parliament
What is the subject of the referendum?
A referendum will be called to change the wording of the Australian constitution to recognize Aboriginal people and establish a voice in Parliament.
When will it be held?
No date has been set, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed that the referendum will take place before the end of the year.
What will be the referendum question?
The draft referendum question is: “Do you support an amendment to the Constitution that establishes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vote?”
What is the voice of parliament?
Parliament will consult an advisory body on legislative matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It will not be able to overrule decisions made by the federal government or the Cabinet.
The Federal Parliament will release details of how the body will be formed and function if the referendum is successful.
What other changes will be made to the constitution?
The federal government will recommend adding three sentences:
1. There shall be a body called Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice may make representations to Parliament and the Executive Government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
3. Under this Constitution, Parliament shall have the power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vote.
Does the Liberal and National Party support the vote in Parliament?
The National Party officially declared that it would oppose the referendum while the Liberal Party Chamber did not disclose its position.
Citizens leader David Littleproud said his party did not believe the vote would help bridge the gap to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has not yet revealed whether the Liberal Party will support the referendum but called for more details on the advisory body.
Will there be more details on how the audio works?
A referendum working group chaired by Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney and made up of representatives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia will release more details before the vote takes place.