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Submission Number
59
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date
Main Submission File
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Submission on the proposal for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament

The establishment of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament should be opposed for the
following reasons:

Indigenous Voice website: https://voice.niaa.gov.au/process/national-voice
under “the proposal” it states

A national body made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that: could provide advice to
the Australian Parliament and Government on relevant laws, policies and programs

The implication that indigenous Australians are in a special position to advise Government on laws or
policies should be rejected. There is no information anywhere on the website for this proposal that
lends weight to the claim that they are, so the implication should be rejected and, instead, it should
be accepted that indigenous Australians do not hold any special position in their ability to advise
Government. We can safely accept that position because if it were anything else, surely the website
for its proposal would have provided some reason for us to believe otherwise. As there is no
information and no argument made in the “detailed proposal for a national voice”, that implication
should be rejected by the Government.

Once it has been established that indigenous Australians don’t hold any special position in this
regard, the entire proposal of an “indigenous voice” has already lost a lot of its credibility. There can
only be two motivations for the establishment of an “indigenous voice”. These are that indigenous
Australians have a special ability or special knowledge with which they can advise Government, and
the second motivation is that indigenous Australians, whilst not in any special position to provide
advice, are in need of special treatment in parliament anyway.

The fact that the “indigenous voice’s” own website provides no argument whatsoever in favour of
the first of these two motivations, means that motivation and that claim should be completely
rejected. Once that reason is out of the way, we can move onto the second, that indigenous
Australians have a special need for this “voice”.

Indigenous Australians today enjoy innumerable benefits. Everything from affirmative action quotas
to mining royalties. The claim that indigenous Australians are disadvantaged is one that is clearly
disconnected from reality. The reality is that this group, far from being disadvantaged, is actually
extremely advantaged because of these initiatives. So the claim that they’re in need of yet more
special treatment, should be rejected just as quickly as the first claim.

An entirely separate reason to reject this proposal for a national voice is in the interest of
maintaining democracy. The entire concept of a democracy is founded on the idea of everyone
having a say. Like every other race in Australia, indigenous Australians have the right to vote and
they have a right to make submissions to the Government just as I’m doing now. Indigenous
Australians already have “a voice” and that voice is the same which is afforded to every other law-
abiding Australian citizen of voting age. To advocate for this “voice” is to oppose democracy. This
means that if parliament were to allow such a representative body, the democratic Government
would be directly opposing the maintenance of a fair and democratic system in Australia. This would
obviously be not only illogical and degenerative, but hypocritical. This reasoning applies on a federal
and state level.

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, the Minister for Indigenous Australians made a speech in favour of the
indigenous voice in 2019. The speech is noteworthy in that, in spite of its considerable length, he
makes no arguments and opts instead for merely making baseless claims that he doesn’t support
with any kind of reasoning or evidence. He states “It will provide opportunities for growth and
advancement, in education, employment, suicide prevention, community safety, health and
constitutional recognition” but offers absolutely no indication whatsoever as to how it would go
about doing that.

He states “I will work in partnership with state and territory ministers of Indigenous affairs to
progress work on the Closing the Gap targets” but again provides no indication as to how that would
be achieved by this “Voice”.

He attempts to make an argument at one point and states “I'll want to improve mental health
outcomes for young people, and implement targeted plan towards zero youth suicide in remote
communities. We've all been shocked and grieved by the numbers of Aboriginal people, especially
youth, committing suicide”. If suicide was accepted as being necessarily negative then why would
you focus on suicide in such a small demographic? If it’s only twice as high as amongst Caucasian
Australians then the overall numbers of suicide would be much higher amongst Caucasians as
indigenous Australians make up only 3% of the nation’s population. If your goal really was to
minimise suicide, you wouldn’t concentrate on such a small demographic.

The entire speech is saturated with illogic and is the perfect demonstration of the mentality of
people who support this idea.

https://ministers.pmc.gov.au/wyatt/2019/national-press-club-address-wal…-
change

The motivation for the proposal lies somewhere outside of the realm of logic and pragmatism,
perhaps being a desire to appear politically correct, to appeal to the emotions of people who won’t
put much thought into it. Whatever the actual reason, it’s clearly illogical and should, thus, be
opposed. To support the indigenous voice to Parliament is to oppose logic and to capitulate to
irrationality.

The parliament website: Designing a First Nations Voice

The Parliament website makes a number of arguments for the Voice:

1) The site mentions the significant support for the Voice. Merely referring to an idea’s
popularity is logically fallacious as a popular idea is very capable of being a bad idea. Thus,
this argument should be rejected.
2) At 2.26 it is stated “many communities feel they have lost the ability to make decisions for
themselves”. Aboriginal people have the ability to vote in elections. In a democracy this is
how decisions are made. Aboriginal people are no different to Caucasian Australians in this
regard. Thus, this argument should be rejected.
3) At 2.27 it is stated “we make up only 3 per cent of the Australian population, and therefore
frequently lack the political capital necessary to push for substantial policy reform”. To argue
that a minority group is in need of special representation because they are a numerically
small group is to oppose the fundamental concept of democracy. Thus, anyone advocating
for the indigenous Voice for this reason must, in order to be logically consistent, oppose
democracy itself. If they don’t, this argument should be rejected purely on the grounds of
logical inconsistency.

The parliament website contains a plethora of information on the proposal for the Indigenous Voice,
but in spite of the sheer quantity of words there, there are very few arguments for it and very little
evidence in support of it.

Constitutional reform:
In relation to the push for constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians; the proposal should
be opposed for the same overall reason for opposing the indigenous voice: Its simple illogic. Mere
recognition will have no actual effect on aboriginal Australians or their standing in Australia. It’s a
purely symbolic gesture.

In relation to the push for constitutional amendment to prohibit racial discrimination: It should also
be opposed. Aboriginal Australians are not victimised by discrimination in Australia. This proposed
amendment is entirely illogical in that it seeks to rectify an issue that does not even exist.

The only method that could possibly work in improving aboriginal standing in Australia is for
aboriginal Australians to improve themselves. They need to take it upon themselves to improve. All
of the government aid provided to them has failed and will continue to fail. The horse has been led
to water, one can’t force it to drink.