The Voice to Parliament
STATEMENT ON THE RESULTS OF THE REFERENDUM
Sunshine Coast MP Andrew Wallace MP has welcomed the result of the Referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament today, as Australians voted down the Albanese Labor Government’s controversial Voice proposal.
“Australians have categorically rejected Labor’s divisive and reckless Voice proposal,” Mr Wallace said, adding, “I couldn’t be prouder to see Fisher return a solid ‘No’ vote.”
“Australians everywhere saw right through Labor’s ‘vibe’ to see the stark reality that Mr Albanese has no plan to bring our country together.”
“The Albanese Labor Government must get back to their core business: addressing their cost-of-living crisis. No more distractions, no more waste, and no more blame-shifting and name-calling,” Mr Wallace said.
“If Mr Albanese and Mr Chalmers are not sure how, I’ll give them a few pointers: tame inflation, cut taxes, support the building sector, take back power from the unions, restore labour mobility, and rebuild confidence in sectors like construction, aviation, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, and mining,” he continued.
Mr Wallace also called on the Albanese Labor Government to put aside their agenda to make government bigger at the expense of communities on the ground.
“Australians are fed-up with governments telling them what to do, what is right, what is wrong. We won’t be taken for mugs, and we won’t be silenced by a vocal minority, no matter how much support they receive from the big end of town.”
When asked about the future of Indigenous policy following the historic vote, Mr Wallace reaffirmed his commitment to constitutional recognition and closing the gap.
“No one disputes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have suffered historical injustices in the past. As I pointed out in my inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence, many indigenous families continue to endure heartbreaking conditions in regional and remote communities – particularly women and children.”
“We all want a better lot for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. But we cannot let the loudest voices take hostage the cause of genuine reconciliation,” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Wallace highlighted the Coalition’s commitment to practical steps in closing the gap, building on nine years of work to improve, among other things, the safety and education of Indigenous children.
“It’s time to quit the empty promises and platitudes. No more bold announcements or fancy committees. It’s time to actually listen to the voices on the ground – the mums and kids, teachers and nurses, and everyday Australians who know better than the big-city elites advising Government today,” he added.
“The Coalition is fighting for a better way forward. We want a Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse in Indigenous Communities. We want to reinstate the Cashless Debit Card for communities who want it. And we want a full and frank account of the billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money given to land councils, indigenous corporations, and government agencies,” Mr Wallace said.
“It’s time for Government to step back and listen to Australians. We are sick and tired of big government promising lots, delivering little, and failing where it matters most,” he commented.
“Nowhere is this more patent than in regional communities like mine. We are crying out for infrastructure, good economic management, and access to healthcare and essential services. What we’re getting is a careless and callous Labor Government intent on making life more difficult for hardworking Australians,” Mr Wallace continued, adding,
“Why is it that Australians always pay more under Labor?”
The Latest on The Voice
“The simple proposition of whether we are willing to divide our country along the lines of race is something we should all examine closely. The Coalition does not believe that is what Australians want. This top down, elite Canberra voice does nothing to help Indigenous communities on the ground in rural and regional Australia, who want to build better lives for themselves and their families. There would not be a person in this place who does not want better outcomes for our Indigenous Australians. But when it comes to closing the gaps in healthcare, education, employment and justice, the solution is local development, not more politics.”
“What has become clear is that the Australian people are losing faith in the Albanese Labor Government. They’re losing faith in the Government’s integrity, their intentions, and their abilities… The Government knows it needs to protect truth, and it’s failing to do that. The Australian people know it to be true. To that end, the Coalition and Australians with common sense are calling on the Government to amend this Bill and commit to: restoring the pamphlet to outline the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cases, which they have now done; establishing official ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaign organisations; and appropriately funding both of these official organisations.”
Jacinta Price Opens Up About The Voice
Check out this fantastic video by Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians and Senator for the Northern Territory.
Albanese’s Canberra-based Voice is divisive, and it will have ramifications for every Australian who calls this country home.
Statement on the Voice To Parliament
An equal voice for all Australians is the bedrock of our liberal democracy.
It was at the heart of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which gave women the right to vote. It was at the core of Menzies’ Commonwealth Electoral Act 1962, which gave Indigenous Australians the right to vote.
In my maiden speech to Parliament, I highlighted that, in relation to ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous outcomes, “our work is far from done in achieving some semblance of equality”. As I said then, we can, and we must do so much better.
However, I do not believe the proposed Constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament will achieve that end.
Today, the Parliamentary Liberal Party said yes to constitutional recognition. We said yes to engaging with local and regional Indigenous bodies to shift the dial on entrenched disadvantage. We said yes to enabling Australians to have their say at the referendum.
We said no to enshrining the Voice in our Constitution because we believe that doing so would fundamentally change the way our nation is governed.
After thousands of emails, letters, survey responses, and phone calls, it is clear to me that the vast majority of people in Fisher share a similar view.
They have conveyed serious concerns with the Government’s proposal and, in particular, with their lack of detail around the Voice’s function and purpose.
When it comes to crucial issues of our national character such as these, we must acknowledge the diversity of opinions and lived experiences which inform both sides of the campaign.
We all want to see better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Most Australians want to see their rich heritage and ancient culture acknowledged in our Constitution.
But we do not need to fundamentally change our democratic system to do so.
We cannot let the cause of reconciliation be hijacked by those with the loudest voices.
We need to listen to the voices of women and children in remote communities who are crying out for law and order, alcohol bans, and income management. We need to listen to the voices of teachers and early childhood educators who tell us that they need resources, protection, and support.
We need to listen to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who have, for too long, been shut out of the conversation by a privileged few with the loudest voices.
We need determined, inclusive and local action, across party lines, to truly close the gap.
Australia’s first Indigenous parliamentarian, Liberal Senator Neville Bonner challenged us to,
“Stop this senseless division. Let us work together on the real issues… Let us unite this country and not divide it!”