Janet Albrechtsen is on to something when she writes about the possibility of “massive overreach” of the voice in her column, The Libs left limp as voices poses a legal nightmare.
If the proposed wording for the voice to be embedded in the constitution is not handled delicately and with great dexterity, there is every possibility for it to become not simply a vehicle to advance genuine indigenous grievances but open to being hijacked and a cacophonous plaything and avenue for other activists beating the drum on totally unrelated social, cultural and political matters by using the voice as a proxy and massaging and shoehorning their grievance as fit for purpose as an indigenous grievance.
These activists, indigenous and non indigenous alike with totally unrelated fish to fry, will see an opportunity for advancing their own agenda with attempts to inveigle themselves by lobbying, flattery and manipulation and by framing and prosecuting arguments as being of concern to indigenous people but which are in fact matters way outside the wheelhouse and the original charter of the voice.
In effect it will become and I suggest has the intention of becoming not so much a genuine voice for the grievances of indigenous people but a voice for the left AND embedded in the constitution.
If people vote for this without the detail and critically without the government having an ability to abolish it as they did with ATSIC it will be game over.
The definition of the road to hell springs to mind:
Turn left and follow the virtue signals.
READ ON — extract below
“..Extending the reach of this body to everything done by executive government means it could permanently second-guess everything that passed across the desk of ministers or public servants. This extension is an act of massive overreach that will radically change our system of government.
The risk of the voice becoming a governance disaster is real. That is why parliament must retain the ultimate sanction, the ability to abolish it. The existence of that threat is critical to holding this untested body to any sort of moderation.
It is not hard to imagine activists heading to the High Court arguing that to give proper effect to the words unveiled by Albanese, the High Court must imply consequential rights and powers in the Indigenous body, and corresponding duties and obligations on parliament, which were nowhere mentioned in the legislation parliament must enact to establish the voice, and which no one could have dreamed of at the time.
It is not hard to imagine an activist High Court using the doctrine of implied powers and rights to gum up the proceedings of parliament and the daily conduct of government.
And what a field day activists will have in court using High Court Justice James Edelman’s words in the Love case where he spoke about “metaphysical bonds” and “an underlying fundamental truth” to impose a race-based limit on parliament’s power. Given the High Court in Love divided 4-3 on how to interpret the Constitution, there is no way to know what it will do with a constitutionally entrenched race-based voice.
The only safe way to ensure this novel Indigenous body does not become a governance disaster of unholy scale is to give parliament the ultimate control to abolish it.
This is the fundamental principle a Liberal leader should fight for, not some second-rate battle over bagatelles…”