Thank you for the opportunity to make comment on this momentous proposal, one that has been a long time in the making.
My submission is from the heart, and manifests the three key areas and points as below.
1. Response to Interim Co-Design Proposals
> The National Voice must be representative of the diverse populations and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
> The National Voice must speak to the Commonwealth Parliament and Government on policy and legislation.
> The National Voice must not be a ‘third chamber’ of Parliament.
> The National Voice must not deliver programs or services.
> The National Voice must act and operate independently from the Parliament and Government.
2. The National Voice must be enshrined in the Constitution
> Enabling legislation for the Voice must be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament.
> For the avoidance of doubt, the National Voice must not be legislated or otherwise implemented before a referendum is held.
3. Two-stage process to establish the Voice:
> There should be a separate structured process to consider the constitutional, legislative and executive options to enact the National Voice following the completion of the Voice Co-Design Final Report.
This process will result in:
> An exposure draft bill for the Voice as per the final Co-Design report to give the Australian public a comprehensive look at the details of the Voice before a referendum is held;
> A draft constitutional amendment for a new provision for a Voice that will then be put to the Australian people for a vote in a referendum; and
> A pathway to a referendum in the next term of Parliament.
Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission. I look forward to working with all of the country in making the respectful recognition of first nations people a reality.
All the best