PM proposes joint parliamentary committee for “the Voice”

Politicians from across the divide will be involved in developing the Voice to Parliament if the referendum succeeds, but the opposition has cast doubt on the process.

With less than three weeks until polling day, the prime minister has provided some detail about what will happen if the Yes vote is successful.

Anthony Albanese said a joint parliamentary committee would be established to oversee the development of the legislation for the Voice Advisory Group.

“I will convene a parliamentary committee, a joint parliamentary committee,” Mr Albanese said.

“I will ask for there to be joint chairs, one from Labor and one from the Coalition, and try to secure maximum support for the legislation that will arise.”

Mr Albanese said he spoke to Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and Nationals leader David Littleproud about the proposal in March and confirmed it with Mr Dutton over the weekend.

However, it wasn’t until yesterday that the prime minister made the details public which comes after months of demands from the No camp for Mr Albanese to provide more detail.

Mr Dutton questioned the timing of the announcement.

“The prime minister is playing political games here,” he said

“This is an 11th-hour desperation move to try and salvage the Yes vote and I don’t believe it is going to work because people don’t see the prime minister as being sincere.

“Now it’s obvious that he’s desperately trying to find ways to suggest to people that there can be a bipartisan position.”

Mr Dutton cast doubt on how much the prime minister would listen to all members of the committee.

He made reference to the Joint Select Committee on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum, which was asked to examine the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) Bill earlier this year.

It recommended to pass the bill unamended but there were dissenting reports from the Liberal and National parties.

“We confidently believe that the proposed Voice will enhance government decision-making about matters that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ultimately improving health outcomes,” the advert reads.

“We encourage all Australians to actively consider the possible health and wellbeing benefits that the Voice to Parliament would have for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

(ABC)

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