Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Aboriginal Women's Gathering

The Hon. S.G. WADE (15:14): Supplementary question: I refer to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs' comments about the draft bill in relation to the Voice and the fact that the government's draft bill commits to equal numbers of men and women. What mechanism will the government use, either in nominations or in the electoral process, to actually ensure that the democratic vote will deliver gender equality?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:15): I thank the honourable member for his question; it is a good question. It's not something that's unknown in elections on Aboriginal representative bodies already. The APY Land Rights Act now provides that for each of the—I think it's six—regions or electorates across the APY lands there is one man and one woman elected.

If my memory serves me correctly, the mechanism in the draft legislation is that for each of the regional voices—there are a couple of draft models, but one of them has five non-Adelaide-based regions that would each have three men and three women elected and a metro region on Kaurna native title boundaries that would have five men and five women elected, that Aboriginal men and women would nominate and that those voting would vote for one man and one woman.

Essentially, the democratic process would work so that you would get a vote for both an Aboriginal man and an Aboriginal woman from your local region. As I say, for the non-metro area ones it's three men and three women and for the metro one it's five men and five women elected.