What is a Voice to Parliament?
August 5, 2020
A Voice to Parliament is a body enshrined in the Constitution would enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide advice to the Parliament on policies and projects that impact their lives.
A Voice to Parliament gives the Australian Government the opportunity to make policies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, rather than for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This is important as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are increasingly calling for self-determination, rather than symbolism and a Voice to Parliament will give them the opportunity to make a real difference.
There have been many different structures proposed for a Voice to Parliament, but the most feasible proposal would enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution, with the operational elements being legislated.
This would ensure that the day to day operations of a Voice would be able to be changed to ensure the Voice always fulfils the required role, but enshrining it in the Constitution will ensure that a Voice is not subject to removal through political whim.
Current policy-making does not have a systematic process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to provide advice, meaning that policy is often made for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people rather than with them.
A Voice to Parliament would simplify the policy making process by ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a structural method to provide advice on policies.
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