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Linda Burney (Facebook/Linda Burney)

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney says she will task the Voice to Parliament with generating fresh ideas in health, education, jobs and housing from day one, in a speech aimed at defining its purpose and agenda. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Ms Burney will use a speech to the National Press Club today to outline her vision of the body as being “active and engaged” on key policy challenges facing Indigenous communities if the public backs it in the upcoming referendum, pitching the Voice’s relationship with government as collaborative rather than combative.

“From day one, the Voice will have a full in-tray. I will ask the Voice to consider four main priority areas: health, education, jobs and housing,” Ms Burney will say in the speech, a draft of which has been provided to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“As the minister, when I meet with the Voice for the first time, I will say: bring me your ideas on how to stop our people from taking their own lives, bring me your ideas on how to help our kids go to school and thrive, bring me your ideas on how we make sure our mob live strong and healthy lives, how we ensure more people have jobs, how we support families better.”

The speech represents a clear attempt by Ms Burney to reset the foundations of the Voice debate after a torrid parliamentary debate last month, during which she came under sustained pressure from the Coalition to define the scope of the body and to rule out taking advice from the Voice on issues such as changing the date of Australia Day.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has repeatedly criticised the Voice as being ill-defined and legally risky and has claimed it will have a wide-ranging scope to weigh into every area of policy and “grind the whole system of government to a halt”.


Health, education, jobs and housing: Burney to give Voice priorities on day one (By Lisa Visentin, Sydney Morning Herald)


Indigenous voice to parliament: Linda Burney defines policy remit under her watch (The Australian)