There is already a Voice … The NIAA.
Every Australian should take note of the website of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA). The NIAA, a government-funded organization, has the significant responsibility of enhancing the well-being of Aboriginal Australians and guiding the government in this endeavour. If you delve into their mission statement, you’ll find its aims mirror those of the proposed VOICE to parliament.
The NIAA is not a recent entity, and it is no small-scale venture. With approximately 1,300 employees and numerous offices across the country, its operations cost taxpayers more than 4 BILLION dollars last year alone. Now, as discussions around the introduction of the VOICE emerge, it’s our right to seek clarity.
How does the VOICE differ from the NIAA in terms of its mandate? What tangible impacts has the NIAA had on the Aboriginal community in Australia? Would the VOICE be an addition to, or a replacement for, the NIAA? Considering the substantial budget of the NIAA, how can the VOICE promise to be more effective?
Furthermore, it’s vital to understand the powers and boundaries of the VOICE. Would they hold any decision-making authority on subjects currently under the jurisdiction of Australia’s elected government? If they possess such power, how can an unelected body influence the lives of ordinary Australians?
When casting my vote, I believed I was empowering an elected government to represent my interests. I wasn’t informed that individuals outside this elected sphere could have a say in our nation’s governance.
The VOICE, in its essence, appears to contradict democratic principles. It seems more aligned with divisive politics rather than addressing real issues like the crime rate in Alice Springs or the socio-economic challenges faced by Indigenous Australians, such as rampant unemployment and issues with substance abuse.
If the NIAA were fully effective in its role, the VOICE would not even be a point of debate.
Now CLICK LINK to go to the NIAA website National Indigenous Australians Agency (niaa.gov.au)
Be sure to click on the Executive Order at Order to Establish the National Indigenous Australians Agency as an Executive Agency (legislation.gov.au) to read their full list of responsibilities.