Introduction by Croakey: Misinformation and disinformation are pervasive about the referendum for a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
Many in the general community may not realise the breadth of support for The Voice within the health sector, including from many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and medical organisations.
Below, we publish a statement by Pat Anderson AO, Co-Chair of the Uluru Dialogue, responding to statements by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. “Aboriginal people deserve better than to be an ideological football,” she says.
Also see some of the latest tweets beneath the statement, highlighting examples of misinformation and disinformation, as well as activated communities.
Statement by Pat Anderson
Opposition leader Peter Dutton is insulting Australians when he says he supports a Voice but only in legislation, with symbolism in the Constitution.
In 2015 we were asked to go out to communities and ask them how they wanted to be recognised in the Constitution. I was the Co-Chair of that historic process. First Nations called for a Voice enshrined in the Constitution. The Voice comes from a historic consensus and is both symbolic and substantive recognition based on our experience with successive governments.
Dutton has not listened. He says he supports a Voice but only on his terms. He has made up his own model.
The rejection of symbolic recognition on its own was made clear in 2015 when the Kirribilli Statement was released to Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten stating that symbolic recognition would not be acceptable. This was eight years ago.
In 2015 the Referendum Council was set up because of the rejection of symbolism as a form of recognition.
The LNP cannot now rewrite history because it’s convenient for their re-election plans as reported widely on the weekend.
Aboriginal people deserve better than to be an ideological football.
A Voice that is legislated only, outside the Constitution, does not work for us. It makes us subject to the whims and fancy of the politics of the day.
Under a legislated Voice, we cannot plan for the future because there is no stability. It is a no-man’s zone. Our organisations do not know whether they are funded from one government to the next and when there is a change of government, we are back to ground zero.
A legislated Voice is more of the same. It’s no change for us.
More from Twitter
See Croakey’s previous coverage of The Voice