The National Party Will Officially Campaign Against An Indigenous Voice To Parliament
"The Nationals have taken a position that is vastly out of step with Australians."
The federal National Party have become the first major Australian political group to announce their opposition to an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, with National’s leader David Littleproud declaring the party has decided to campaign against the Voice.
Speaking to reporters in Canberra in a joint address with Northern Territory senator Jacinta Nampiginpa Price, Littleproud said the party had concluded an Indigenous Voice wouldn’t benefit First Nations people living in regional communities, despite the fact that many of the key details of the Voice are yet to be released by the federal government.
The Nationals believe a Voice to Parliament will not help with the real issues our Indigenous communities are facing. We need practical, tangible measures to Close the Gap. pic.twitter.com/DssbeoeLmd
— The Nationals (@The_Nationals) November 28, 2022
“Unfortunately, we got to a position where we don’t believe that this will genuinely close the gap,” Littleproud told reporters today.
“We believe in empowering local Indigenous communities, giving them the power at a local level, not creating another layer of bureaucracy here in Canberra.”
Price, a Warlpiri woman hailing from Alice Springs who has previously cooperated with conservative politician Mark Latham in a ‘Save Australia Day Campaign’, argued that an Indigenous Voice would divide the country by race instead of unifying it.
“What we need now is practical measures, not an idea that lacks complete and utter detail and based on emotional blackmail,” Price said.
Meanwhile, the director of the From The Heart campaign, Dean Parkin, has labelled the decision from the Nationals leadership “rash, illogical and dismissive of the overwhelming will of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.
“The Nationals have taken a position that is vastly out of step with Australians, who understand that constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament is a simple and effective way to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a direct say over laws and polices that affect them,” Parkin said in a statement.
Notably, the announcement by the Federal Nationals currently contradicts messaging on the New South Wales Nationals website, which explicitly supports an Indigenous Voice, stating “The NSW Nationals acknowledge Indigenous Australians as the traditional custodians of our land and work to give them an effective voice in Parliament”.
The announcement from the Nationals comes as the Liberal party is yet to formulate an official stance on an Indigenous Voice, with Liberal leader Peter Dutton previously stating the party is considering the policy with an “open mind”.
Junkee has reached out to the NSW Nationals for clarification regarding their stance on the Voice.