SA premier flags plan for Indigenous Voice to parliament

By Shannon Jenkins

May 7, 2021

renewable-enery-Steven Marshall
SA Premier Steven Marshall. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

The South Australian government is reportedly planning a process to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

The Australian has reported that the Voice would likely be in the form of an advisory committee, and would be chaired by the state’s Aboriginal engagement commissioner Roger Thomas. He would be joined by 12 other Aboriginal members, with the committee expected to be up and running by the end of this year.

Indigenous South Australians would be able to vote for six of the committee members, with the government to appoint the remaining six. Then, after three years of operation, the SA Electoral Commission would hold a statewide ballot to elect the 12 Voice members.

Premier Steven Marshall has indicated he wants legislation to establish the body to be introduced into parliament in the coming months, according to The Australian. The premier hopes SA’s approach could be adopted to establish an Indigenous Voice at the federal level.

The details have not yet been finalised, but Thomas has reportedly been in talks with the electoral commissioner regarding an election. The SA government has also been considering how the state Voice could complement a federal Voice.

While the co-design process for establishing a national Indigenous Voice stopped accepting submissions last month, a survey is open to the public until mid-May. Feedback from the submissions and survey will inform the Indigenous Voice co-design groups’ final recommendations to the federal government.

Recent analysis of 1435 of the public submissions, conducted by the UNSW Indigenous Law Centre, found that 82% have expressly supported the constitutional enshrinement of a Voice to parliament, while an additional 5% voiced in-principle support.


Read more: Indigenous voice co-design group appointed


 

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