Legislation to enact South Australia’s First Nations Voice had been met with cheers and applause when introduced to state parliament yesterday.
The bill to establish the mechanism for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation was formally presented to the upper house by Attorney-General and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher.
The public gallery included Kaurna elders and Aboriginal community leaders, many of whom gave the bill a standing ovation.
The bill is set to pass parliament by Easter with support from the state’s Greens party but questions remain about how the state will be split up and how different regions will be represented by the body.
Minister Maher warned those pushing for the voice they are likely to encounter racism along the way.
“Campaigns like these do come at a cost and it’s one that’s borne most heavily by those to whom bigoted and hateful people are already inclined to denigrate and vilify.
But that cost is far outweighed by the transformative outcomes and reforms that things like this can achieve.”