The ‘Yes’ and ‘No” Campaigns for the upcoming Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum have pitched their cases on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website.
Today the AEC published the perspectives of both campaigns in separate 2,000 word essays.
The ‘Yes’ campaign pointed to recognition of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people into the Australian Constitution, the ability to listen to Indigenous Australians about “matters that affect their lives” and promised better results to make practical progress in “Indigenous health, education, employment and housing,” in the result if a successful referendum
The ‘No’ Campaign called the Voice divisive and permanent, pointing to a lack of detail as a reason why Australians shouldn’t support it.
“This Referendum is not simply about “recognition”. This Voice proposal goes much further.
If passed, it would represent the biggest change to our Constitution in our history.
It is legally risky, with unknown consequences. It would be divisive and permanent.
If you don’t know, vote no,” the essay said.
The ‘Yes’ campaign’s essay didn’t provide the details on how the proposed advisory body would function, but did give a summary of the proposal.
“The Voice will be a committee of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who will give advice to
the Parliament and Government on issues that affect their community.
It will include Indigenous Australians from every state and territory, the Torres Strait Islands and
representatives from the regions and remote communities.
Members of the Voice will be chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their local
area and serve for a fixed period,” the essay said.
The arguments are available here, but will also be included in pamphlets which will be translated into different languages, including Indigenous dialects, and mailed to Australian households.
It’s unknown when the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum will be held.
But Prime Minister Anthony Albanese flagged on Monday he would leave the announcement of the referendum date until at least September.