Submission to the Interim Voice Report Public Consultation Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
As an organisation that is committed to achieving justice for, and in partnership with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, PIAC strongly supports and has formally endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Our submission emphasises the significance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament. We submit that “establishment via legislation alone is inadequate. Constitutional enshrinement would help to protect the Voice from being easily abolished, making it more likely for the Voice to fearlessly represent the views of First Nations peoples to Parliaments.”
Our recommendations are as follows:
- The Voice to Parliament, as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, must be constitutionally enshrined. To achieve this, the Commonwealth Government must honour its election commitment to hold a referendum on the Voice, with enabling legislation passed in the next term of parliament following a successful vote.
- Care must be taken in designing character tests for eligibility to stand as candidates for the Voice to ensure that ‘objective’ criteria, including those relating to criminal history and bankruptcy, do not arbitrarily and unnecessarily deny people the opportunity to contribute.
- The National Voice should not include members appointed by the Commonwealth Minister. This is necessary to preserve the independence and authority of the Voice.