Legislative Council: Thursday, July 06, 2023


First Nations Voice To Parliament

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:20): Supplementary: has the minister found that the fact that the Liberal opposition twice introduced a Voice to Cabinet and Committees of Parliament rather than a Voice to Parliament bill themselves, then voted against a similar bill, has added to community confusion?

The PRESIDENT: I am not sure how that arises from the answer. However, it looks like the minister is prepared to answer the question.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:20): I can see the link, sir. I thank the honourable member for her question.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I wouldn't describe it as adding to confusion, but I would absolutely describe it as adding to frustration. The feedback we have received is that the former government, having introduced legislation for a representative body—albeit a body that was mostly appointed rather than elected by the Aboriginal community, a body that the government themselves would appoint thinking they know better about which Aboriginal people should represent the Aboriginal community, and a body that was not to have any interaction with parliament but to report to a committee—having had the former government put up a model, although a very substandard model, for a representative body, then to vote against it, has led to a sense of frustration, a sense of being let down, a sense of disappointment and a sense of: why would you support the Liberal Party in doing this?