Please attribute to Law Council of Australia President, Arthur Moses SC:
It is vital that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have input when it comes to developing policy which impacts on their communities.
The Law Council of Australia has long advocated for constitutional recognition and a Voice to the Federal Parliament.
To this end, the Law Council welcomes the ALP’s commitment to establishing a Voice to parliament for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and offer our full support in ensuring it comes to fruition. The Law Council will stand side by side with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advocate for these changes to our Constitution when a referendum is held.
A Voice will serve to empower the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to have a constitutionally enshrined role in being consulted on policies that impact on their communities . This will go some way to developing policies that will actually assist the most disadvantaged in our society, and help heal the wounds of colonialism and generational trauma.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in this nation have faltered in a large part because we have not listened to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
Of course there are no easy solutions to these issues. The Law Council is the first to acknowledge this.
But all solutions begin with a conversation. And our history tells us that a conversation cannot be a solution so long as it excludes a First Nations Voice.
Regardless of who is elected to govern in May, the government must ensure we understand, consult and move on this issue in a manner that is culturally competent in partnership with and led by First Nations Peoples.