Aboriginal elder and Labor Senator Patrick Dodson says if the Voice to Parliament referendum fails, it will send a message across the world that Australia is stuck in its colonial past. Source: The Age.
Senator Dodson, a Yawuru elder who is known as the Father of Reconciliation, said there would be “serious implications” for Australia’s place on the international stage if the referendum is rejected by voters.
“It’ll send a tsunami wave across the international spheres that we are still stuck in our colonial past basically, and that we really cannot find the generosity of heart and spirit that underpinned the issuing of the invitation that came from the Uluru Statement From the Heart from the First Nations peoples,” Senator Dodson said.
Senator Dodson, the Government’s special envoy for the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, dismissed a renewed appeal by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton for more information about the composition and operation of the Voice, saying the Australian people were being asked to vote “on principle, not on detail”.
The decision by the federal Nationals Party this week to formally oppose the referendum – a move that has been resoundingly criticised by Voice advocates as premature – reignited a debate in the final sitting week of the year over how much detail the government ought to provide Australians about how the body will function before the national vote.
In his parliamentary speech on Closing the Gap, Mr Dutton said Australians had “a right to know” what they will be voting for, noting that it had been four months since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese unveiled a draft amendment to enshrine the Voice in the Constitution.
‘We will be stuck in our colonial past if Voice fails’: Dodson (By Lisa Visentin, The Age)