SUPPORTING YES VOTE
I am writing to express my support for the ‘Yes’ to an Aboriginal Voice to Parliament.
Australia has an indigenous population of about 3.2% yet they make up 29% of our prison population. They have lower life expectancy and the gap between the health and wellbeing of aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australians is not closing. Clearly what we are doing is not working. It’s time to recognise that we need to change the formula and respect the word of the people who’s lives our government’s policies most effect. Voting ‘Yes’ to the ‘Voice’ does not divide us, it recognises and respects our proud Aboriginal heritage and gives them a chance to have a say in their own future and welfare.
VOICE TO PARLIAMENT IS NOT ONE SUCH CHANGE
Australia was the first country in the world to allow women to vote and run for parliament. This was groundbreaking at the time, but even then Australians had a keen sense of equality for all. This sentiment was continued in 1967 where Australians voted to give Indigenous Australians the right to vote. Australia’s modern expression of equality for all was further expressed in anti-discrimination laws, as well as the more recent yes vote to allow same-sex couples the same legal rights to marry under Australian law. All of these social changes were embraced by the majority of Australians because there was an overwhelming sense of an equal or fair go.
The proposed voice to parliament is not one such change. Importantly it seeks to permanently enshrine in our constitution that a group of Australians will have a separate and special voice to parliament over and above other Australians. As a Liberal this is something that I am fundamentally and philosophically unable to support. A Yes vote implants race-based discrimination in our own constitution whilst simultaneously undermining our existing parliament.
Sadly, we have missed a unifying moment for our country. If the case was for recognition of our Indigenous Australians there would be bipartisan support and overwhelming support by most Australians.
Labor and the Greens scream ‘racism’ for anyone asking legitimate questions of how this voice will function. The fact is that when the Howard-era Northern Territory alcohol bans were expiring BOTH the ALP and Coalition senators for the Northern Territory pleaded with the government not to allow these bans to lapse. The government ignored both of them and chaos reigned. Governments could start by listening to one of the 11 indigenous parliamentarians in the parliament rather than the relentless pursuit of ever-bigger government to distract from the real issues.
At the last local government election I took the opportunity to vote for candidates for the Greater Shepparton City Council who I was confident would mainly concentrate on core issues, rates, roads and rubbish and those issues which are important to all ratepayers eg. parks, libraries etc.
To my disappointment, I now find that our Council has voted to not celebrate Australia Day on January 26th 2024, and to lobby the Federal Government to change the date of our National day.
In addition, our Council has advised that it supports the Yes campaign in the upcoming referendum.
Councillors are entitled as individuals to vote as they chose, but at no time should politics enter into these matters.
I don’t recall, as a resident and a ratepayer, being asked if I approved Council’s stance.
I mistakenly believed that elected councillors were there to represent all constituents not a select number.
How wrong I was!
WE IMPLORE YOU TO VOTE NO
No to the voice of intolerance and what it represents. We reject the notion of special racial-based rights and privileges. The question remains: who will write up the rules for this risky, divisive, unknown, and potentially permanent system?
Our nation’s unity is at stake, as racial separation takes precedence over the unity of all Australians. We are one together, not two divided entities. Vague promises only exacerbate the uncertainty surrounding this issue.
Let us stand together to preserve the principles of equality and fairness that have defined our nation. Australia deserves better than a future marred by discrimination and division.
Want to have your say?
Email your letters to the editor to
Please keep letters to under 200 words.