The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has published the official Yes and No arguments ahead of the referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
The cases for and against the Voice to Parliament were prepared by federal politicians on both sides of the debate.
The AEC will now compile a pamphlet outlining the Yes and No arguments, which will be mailed to voters ahead of the referendum.
What is the Voice to Parliament?
Later this year, Australians will be asked to vote on whether to add an Indigenous Voice to Parliament to the Constitution.
The proposed Voice would be a representative body for First Nations people to advise on policies that affect them. The Constitution would give Parliament the power to decide its structure and functions.
A change to the Constitution must be approved by the majority of voters in the majority of states. This is called a referendum.
Who wrote the yes and no arguments?
The following pages summarise the key points made in the Yes and No arguments for the Voice to Parliament referendum.
They use the language chosen by the politicians who wrote the respective arguments.
The claims made in the arguments have not been fact-checked by the AEC.
The Yes argument
These are the eight arguments made by the Yes case in favour of a Voice.
- The idea came from First Nations people, proposed by 250 leaders in the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.
- Voting yes would recognise First Nations people in the Constitution in a practical way.
- Listening to the advice of First Nations people delivers better health, education, and economic outcomes.
- A yes vote would unify the country by acknowledging the past and celebrating First Nations people.
- The Voice would save money by avoiding billions invested in policies that don’t work.
- Voting no would be an acceptance that we can’t do better to address First Nations disadvantage.
- Putting the Voice in the Constitution would create a stable source of advice that doesn’t get caught up in short-term politics.
- Legal experts say the Voice would enhance our system of government.
The No argument
These are the 10 arguments made by the No case against a Voice.
- It is legally risky and is a big change to how our democracy functions.
- The Government has not revealed details about how it would work.
- It will divide Australians by race and undermine equality.
- It won’t work because it will be too centralised and will overlook regional and remote communities.
- There are no limits on the potential scope of the Voice.
- The Voice could lead to complex legal disputes, delaying government decisions.
- The Voice is a gateway for activists to abolish Australia Day and change other Australian symbols.
- The Voice will be expensive.
- The Voice will be permanent and cannot be reversed.
- It would be better to recognise First Nations people in the Constitution without the risk of a Voice.
The cases can be read in full on the AEC website.