One of Australia’s most respected Indigenous leaders speaks out against Anthony Albanese’s Voice To Parliament: Here’s why she opposes it
- Leading Indigenous activist lashes out at Voice
- She says it will be pointless and powerless
A leading Aboriginal activist has denounced the Labor proposed Voice to Parliament as pointless for impoverished Indigenous communities.
Outspoken lawyer Megan Krakouer, Perth’s Citizen of the Year 2023, says The Voice will be irrelevant, powerless and toothless with no “guarantee of change”.
She says outback communities have no idea what it is, and in its proposed form warns it won’t be able to do anything to help them.
“They’ll say, ‘Which voice? John Farnham the voice? Or The Voice the TV show,'” said the director of the National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project.
‘I say: ‘No, the vote to parliament.’ They say, “Oh, we don’t know about that.”‘
Outspoken lawyer Megan Krakouer, Perth’s Citizen of the Year 2023, says vote will be irrelevant, powerless and toothless with no guarantee of change
Megan Krakouer says outback communities (pictured) have no idea what it is, and in its proposed form warns it won’t be able to do anything to help them
Ms Krakouer said she intends to campaign against the Voice because it lacked the power to actually bring about any change in the people she represents.
The Voice will be able to advise Parliament and Government on matters directly affecting Australia’s First Nations people.
But Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has stressed that he will have no veto power over any legislation.
“I want to see something with teeth, I want to see legislative changes and I want to see policies that protect the interests of all Australians and First Nations people in particular,” Ms Krakouer said. The Western Australian.
“It will be the highest deliberative body of Indigenous First Nations people across the country… without any power. Sure, it may have the ability to make an impact, but we’re still unclear on the details of how that will actually play out across the country.”
She added, “I walk with thousands of our poorest brothers and sisters. I have seen a premature and avoidable death haunt each of these families.
“I know I will speak for many of them, and they will agree with what I am advocating. Is it so wrong to ask that the Voice be more and with ‘teeth’ so that fewer of my people fall down prematurely and undeservedly?”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has insisted it will not veto any legislation, but Megan Krakouer says that makes it powerless and irrelevant.
Ms Krakouer said she was ready to admit she was wrong if proven wrong, but said her experience had made her cynical about the government’s motives.
She added: “In all my working life I have never known a government I can trust, and I feel it is my duty to hold accountable for what is being promised here.”
She wants money spent on the Voice and the referendum campaign instead to be redirected directly to Indigenous issues such as suicide prevention and child care.