The New South Wales (NSW) opposition party has announced that it will not be bound to support the proposed constitutional recognition of an Indigenous voice to parliament. The party’s leader, Chris Minns, stated that while he supports the objective of the proposal, he believes that the details need to be ironed out before offering full support.
The proposed Indigenous voice to parliament, which has been a topic of debate in Australia for several years, would be a representative body for First Nations people to give them more say in the political decisions that affect them. The Labor Party’s national conference endorsed the proposal in 2018, with the aim to hold a referendum to enshrine it in the Constitution. However, the Morrison government has been hesitant to move forward with the proposal, citing concerns about its practical implementation.
Minns stated that the proposal needs to be examined carefully to ensure that it is “effective and workable.” He emphasized the importance of consulting with Indigenous communities to gain their involvement and support for the proposal. Additionally, he suggested that the proposed Indigenous voice should not be limited to only parliamentary representation, but should also address issues related to land rights, treaty negotiations, and other concerns relevant to Indigenous peoples.
The decision by the NSW opposition to not be bound to support the proposed referendum on the Indigenous voice is seen as a setback for the Labor Party, which has been a strong supporter of the proposal. The party’s federal leader, Anthony Albanese, has previously expressed his commitment to the objective and has called for bipartisanship on the issue. However, Minns’ decision reflects a view that the proposal needs more detailed consideration before committing to its implementation.
Overall, the debate over Indigenous voice to parliament continues in Australia, with opinions divided on the best way to achieve greater representation and recognition for First Nations people. While the Labor Party has been a strong advocate for the proposal, it remains to be seen whether the Morrison government will take action to move it forward.