I oppose the Voice because it will divide Australians

I oppose the Voice because it will divide Australians

Division, division, division.

That’s been the story of the referendum on the Voice to Parliament since day one.

And with five weeks to go, it’s going to continue.

Because really the question the Australian people are being asked is: do you want to divide Australians by race in our national rulebook?

Supporters of the Voice can dress it up however they want. But there’s no doubt that’s what is happening.

What else would you call writing a new chapter in our constitution that singles out one group of Australians over the rest and gives them a new representative body?

A fundamental character of Australia is that no matter where you come from – whether you became Australian yesterday or 10 years ago, or 1000 years ago – we’re all equal before the law. The Voice fundamentally alters that equality by setting aside a place for one group over the rest.

It’s telling, by the way, that the proposal put forward by the architects of the Voice is not to abolish or amend the race powers in the Constitution. Similarly, they chose not to limit the “representations” of the Voice to matters relating to the race powers.

It’s a strong indication that enshrining division and separation is the goal, not unity.

And that leads to another critical issue of principle. Whether or not we will, as a nation, allow the divisive goals of career activists to be enshrined in our constitution.

Because make no mistake, that’s what will happen if the Voice gets up.

Despite trying to walk it back once they realised Australians wouldn’t accept it, the architects of the Voice have been very clear that the Voice is the first step of a process, not the last. It opens the door to treaty, to reparations and compensation, and to give them a platform to pursue long held activist goals like abolishing Australia Day.

All the talk of High Court challenges and the authority of the Parliament and whatever else are ultimately distractions from these questions of principle.


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As a woman with Aboriginal and European heritage who is married to a Scottish Australian and whose children are mixed race – these principles are personal to me.

I don’t believe I should be treated differently because of the colour of my skin. I don’t want my children to be treated differently either.

And I don’t want my family to be judged by race.

Just as we are a family, so we are a country.

We are stronger when we’re united, not divided.

That’s why I’m urging all Australians to vote No.


Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is Senator for the Northern Territory and the former deputy mayor of Alice Springs.

Image: Jacinta Nampijinpa Price website 

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