Indigenous recognition is more than a Voice to Government – it’s a matter of political equality

The government earlier this year released a discussion paper exploring how an Indigenous Voice to government might work. The Voice to government is not the same as the Voice to parliament that the Uluru Statement from the Heart proposed in 2017. This is because the government doesn’t support the Uluru idea of a distinctive Indigenous body enshrined in the constitution. Instead, it prefers a body set up by an act of parliament. The government of the day could change its powers, or even abolish it, as it pleases. The powers could be expansive, but equally, they could be meaningless. A Voice established under the constitution, meanwhile, would have the authority of the Australian people. This idea has attracted majority support in public opinion polls.

Indigenous recognition is more than a Voice to Government – it’s a matter of political equality

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