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Federal MP misleads constituents in YES mail out

This week, Hasluck residents will receive a letter from their federal member of parliament, promoting the Yes campaign.
“This referendum is about something very simple, listening.” The member for Hasluck, Tania Lawrence, writes.

From whatever angle one may look at it, ‘very simple’, it is not.  It is in fact, a blatant mistruth, designed to mislead, and it’s coming from a member of parliament.

“On October 14, Australians will have the opportunity to make history by saying YES in the referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution, through a voice.” The letter states.

The referendum is about so much more than just ‘recognition’.
This Voice proposal represents the most radical change to our Constitution – our nation’s rule book – in our history.  It is not a ‘modest change’, it proposes to insert a whole new chapter into the constitution. A chapter based on race.

The Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Lorraine Finlay, said of the proposal: “It inserts race into the Australian Constitution in a way that undermines the foundational human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination.”

“The voice will be able to speak to all parts of the government, including the cabinet, ministers, public servants, and independent statutory offices and agencies – such as the Reserve Bank…It (parliament) can’t shut the voice up.” (The Australian, 1/4/2023)

Many legal experts have warned this Voice could risk years of litigation. The High Court would determine the powers and remit of this Voice, not the Parliament. And no one can predict with any certainty what a future High Court might decide. Enshrining this Voice into the Constitution means it’s permanent.

And this is before we even look at the standards of the people who were tasked with putting the voice together, its so called ‘architects’.

The Prime Minister has been at pains to avoid mentioning what has been made clear by the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and its promoters.

On the first page, it states:

“We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations”.

‘Makarrata’ encompasses the process of voice, treaty, truth-telling.

According to Teela Reid, a high-profile Voice campaigner, Uluru Dialogue leader and member of Anthony Albanese’s Voice Referendum Engagement Group, the Voice is about “demolishing” what she calls “systems of oppression”, and would be so powerful it would be “very difficult for a government to ignore”.

As Thomas Mayo, one of the voices architects and promoters said: “The voice is a vital step,…….and it puts all the explanation behind it…..like you know, pay the rent, for example, how do we do that in a way that actually sees reparations and compensation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people….”

Marcia Langton, co-author of the voice to parliament, was quoted as saying: “People who are opposing (the voice referendum) are saying we are destroying the fabric of their sacred Constitution. Yes’ that’s right, that’s exactly what we’re doing”.

The voice, in principle, isn’t even a bad thing, other than it adds another layer of bureaucracy. Local, regional and national reps are supposed to talk to each other to get better outcomes. The problem lies with enshrining the voice into the constitution, which is a pathway from being merely advisory to arranging treaty and reparations. There’s also potential for radical activists being installed as voice reps, causing all sorts of problems, including endless High Court hearings.

Many people believe that the same activists that have been rorting the system and failing to fix the problem will again be in charge, and this time enshrined in the constitution. It is a very dangerous prospect, and mishandling it will set back reconciliation for decades.

Meanwhile, the government is persisting with spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the referendum, as they drag along corporations and sporting organisations to coax or guilt-shame the public into voting YES.

What was originally touted as an effort to unite the nation has proven to be anything but, with people hurling abuse and even spitting at those who dare to ‘voice’ a different opinion to the government narrative.

As Kamahl would always say, as he, only last week, went from No to Yes and back to No, “Why are people so unkind?”

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