Several prominent Australians have spoken out against the proposal for an indigenous voice to parliament, in a new video by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Senator James McGrath, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Dr Anthony Dillon, and Dr Lorraine Finlay warned against a constitutional amendment that would divide Australians by race.

“I’m a Queensland senator. I don’t want indigenous Queenslanders being separated from non-indigenous Queenslanders on the basis of their race,” said Senator James McGrath.

“We are not a separate entity. We should be considered Australian citizens and part of the fabric of this nation”, said Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Director of Indigenous Program at the Centre for Independent Studies.

Dr Anthony Dillon, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Australian Catholic University, said it would increase division between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

“It reinforces the existing us-them mentality. And I think it’s pretty clear the us-them mentality is not working, it cannot work,” Dr Dillon said.

Murdoch University Law lecturer Lorraine Finlay said it would diminish indigenous voices.

“Rather than actually elevating indigenous voices, you diminish them because you say they’re only allowed to play a certain prescribed role in the Australian democracy,” said Dr Finlay.

IPA Director of Policy Gideon Rozner said that the video was an important contribution to the ongoing debate around proposals for an indigenous voice to parliament.

“The IPA is delighted to bring several prominent Australians – both indigenous and non-indigenous – together to reject this divisive proposal.”

“The Morrison government was right to rule out enshrining a voice to parliament in the constitution. It should resist further proposals to divide Australians by race and focus on increasing the opportunities available to indigenous Australians,” Mr Rozner said.

Watch the video here.


For media and comment: Daniel Wild, Director of Policy; Morgan Begg, Research Fellow, via Evan Mulholland, Director of Communications, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected].