Written by Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, Liberal National Party
While the idea of giving Indigenous Australians a “Voice to Parliament” might seem like an obvious solution to some, I have grave concerns that it will not achieve the outcomes regional and remote Indigenous communities deserve.
Let me first clarify that I am fully supportive of recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
However, the Voice to Parliament, as it is currently being proposed, only serves to amplify the views of self-appointed Indigenous leaders who are predominantly metropolitan academic elites.
Noel Pearson and his cronies have long held a decisive grip over Indigenous policy and the associated funding across Cape York, but the outcomes we all desire have not been forthcoming.
The last thing we need is the architect of so many policy failures, in charge of another one.
It is clear to me that Noel only seeks to secure himself another prestigious job-for-life, further cementing himself as an Indigenous Policy Tzar.
Despite the many hundreds of millions of dollars, that he and his entities have received over the decades, many Indigenous communities still struggle to this day to meet basic standards of living that other Australians routinely enjoy.
The solution is to reject Pearson’s failed ideology, and return the focus to the voices of popularly elected leaders from Indigenous communities.
This is a democracy, but Noel prefers dictatorships, accordingly he wields great influence with all levels of government, their bureaucrats, and the media.
They have long been charmed by his well-spoken articulations and endless proposals to Close the Gap.
If we just give Pearson another $100 million maybe we will finally start shifting the dial on Closing the Gap.
But Pearson and the establishment are all equally detached from and disinterested in the reality on the ground.
They would much rather theorise around board room tables in flashy office buildings on Sheridan Street than face the reality of their decades-long abject failure to deliver for the people they so proudly claim to help.
Communities must escape the stranglehold Noel has over them.
Do not let Noel and his cronies speak for you.
How many times must we keep doing the same thing?
We all have a decision to make during this referendum, on face value the Voice to Parliament sounds like a nice idea.
But when you understand who is behind the development of the proposal, who really stands to gain from its enactment and the reality that it is just going to be more of the same.
There is no way any good can come from this.
Pearson’s Voice has been heard enough, it is time he and his entities, own up to their legacy in Cape York – a legacy of greed, self-interest, and failure.
Vote however you wish this week. I’ll be voting no, to help end Pearson’s stranglehold on Cape York, to reject the notion that he knows what’s best for our region and so that the real work can start.