LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH VOICE

As a committed YES voter and campaigner in the Referendum on VOICE, I am concerned that it is in danger of defeat by a powerful and negative campaign that is demanding details in advance of what powers VOICE will have, how it will operate and what it will cost.

This significant threat can be answered in full, simply and easily, by Parliament passing clearly defined legislation prior to the Referendum which will become law automatically when the Referendum is passed and which cannot be altered without another referendum being held.

I want to humbly suggest that the wording of the legislation should be in this concise form.

ABORIGINAL and TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER VOICE.

VOICE will be established with the authority of a Referendum which adds appropriate words to the Constitution of Australia.

It will have 35 Members who are Indigenous Citizens elected by Indigenous Voters.

Each State shall elect 5 members, Northern Territory 4 and Australian Capital Territory 1.

Their election will be arranged and implemented by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Rules and Procedures for the work of VOICE shall be determined by Act of Parliament as will its operating Budget

Voice will meet 4 times annually for one week on each occasion.

Its Members will debate and submit policies applicable to the livelihood of Indigenous Australians.

The policies will be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives who will make appropriate arrangements for both Houses of Parliament to consider them.

Parliament will be under no obligation to accept them but the Speaker must convey a response to VOICE on each occasion.

This legislation automatically becomes law on the passing of the Referendum.

Lawyers can add legal words here and there but this is a concise basis for the creation of VOICE.

Lets do it NOW and cut out all the nonsense about the Opposition wanting detail and the Government saying it is not needed.

Fact is that voters trust neither of them.

EVERALD COMPTON AO