|This coming Tuesday, I’ll be speaking in Parliament on Labor’s Voice. I’ve reflected a lot about Labor’s proposal, and here’s a snapshot of what I’ll be saying: This year millions of Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum to enshrine a Voice to Parliament in our Constitution. It’s a really important decision for all Australians. Possibly the most consequential for this country since the Federation. So, to be direct: I do not support Labor’s Voice. It is a radical departure from our parliamentary system, fundamentally changing the character of Australian democracy. We are witnessing the rise of a new toxic politics that divides people into tribes based on their identities. I reject that style of politics—instead I want unity, cohesion and fairness in Australia. And, sadly, Labor’s Voice will only entrench this toxic new politics into our Constitution. All Australians agree it is vital that we do more for Indigenous Australians. But Labor’s Voice undermines equality before the law—that very principle which is the great attraction for many migrants to our ancient land. Australia has enjoyed stable democracy for the last 122 years. Imperfect—yes—but unique when considered in the broad sweep of human history. This radical and risky proposition will sever us from that tradition of stability, and entrench division and gridlock into our governance. It is troubling that there is no detail on the Voice. How will it interact with the Parliament and the Executive? How will members be appointed? For how long? How much will it cost? How will our local Indigenous people—the Bindjareb Nyungar people, long-time custodians of Mandjoogoordap and the surrounding lands—be represented? And having considered the arguments, I will be voting NO—in the best interests of all Australians, to uphold equality before the law and for the future stability of our democratic country. Stay tuned for more next week. Regards Andrew Hastie|
http://www.andrewhastie.com.au/ Pic Of The Week This week it was great to catch up and exchange stories with members of the Afghan community from Jason Wood’s electorate of La Trobe. Together Under One Flag I hope the Australian national flag makes us all feel a sense of gratitude for this country and a responsibility to preserve it.
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