IPA Calls For Constructive And Respectful Debate On The Voice

The Institute of Public Affairs has expressed disappointment in Noel Pearson’s comments about the IPA and has called for constructive and respectful dialogue in the debate about the voice.

At the Garma Festival on Sunday, Mr Pearson accused the IPA of dispatching ‘child soldiers telling lies about the voice’.

“Both sides of the debate should engage with each other in good faith and with mutual respect. Assuming bad intentions with those you don’t agree will result in the same old status quo,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the IPA.

“There is broad agreement on both sides of the debate about how we can improve the lives of indigenous Australians, including through localism, real property rights, and regional economic development. We must unify around practical approaches to improve the lives of all Australians, rather than being divided by race.

“Race has no place in Australia’s constitution. The existing references to race should be removed from the constitution to make it clear that all Australians are equal regardless of the colour of their skin. There is no us and them – only us.

“Inserting an indigenous-only body into the constitution would be illiberal, divisive, undemocratic, and violate the egalitarian principle of racial equality under the law,” said Mr Wild.


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].


Race Has No Place In The Constitution

“The Coalition government’s decision to reject the divisive indigenous-only ‘voice to parliament’ is a win for equality and liberal democracy,” said Simon Breheny, Director of Policy at the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

“The decision made by the government today affirms the democratic values on which Australia was founded. The Australian Constitution should treat all Australian citizens as individual human beings, with equal rights and equal responsibilities.”

“The Coalition government’s decision represents a repudiation of a divisive ideology based on race. Race has no place in the Australian Constitution.”

“The next logical step for the government is to reject outright constitutional recognition. Recognition is not supported by indigenous or non-indigenous Australians.”

“If the Coalition chooses to pursue any changes it should remove the provisions that currently refer to race – section 25, and section 51 (xxvi),” said Mr Breheny.

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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].


All Australians Are Equal

“The Morrison government must not hold a referendum which would ask Australians to divide themselves by race”, said Daniel Wild, Director of Research with the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Recent calls to amend the Constitution to enshrine an “Indigenous Voice” to Parliament have been made by a small number of large corporations, sections of the media, and the political class.

“Calls to insert race into our nation’s founding document are retrograde, divisive, and illiberal. Race has no place in Australia’s Constitution.”

“Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians are all first and foremost Australians who share a common county, legal system, and destiny.”

“The suggestion that the ‘voice’ could be confined to issues affecting Indigenous Australians is fundamentally incoherent – all policy is Indigenous policy decisions because Indigenous Australians are Australians.”

“The dignity of Indigenous Australians demands that they be treated the same as non-Indigenous Australians, which means being included and represented in a common national body: the Australian Parliament.”

“In the 1967 referendum 91% of Australians voted to change the Constitution to remove references to race.  Now, 52 years later it appears both major political parties want to put race back into the Constitution.”

“Even just asking Australians to divide themselves by race will divide Australia along racial lines forever.”

“All Australians deserve access to the dignity of work, safe communities, stable families, home ownership, high quality education, and economic opportunity. These pillars support human flourishing, regardless of skin colour,” said Mr Wild.


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].


Race Has No Place In The Constitution

“The radical attempt to divide Australians in our national constitution is wrong and it will be rejected by the Australian people,” says Simon Breheny, Director of Policy at the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

The Referendum Council today delivered its recommendations to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, that there should be a referendum to enshrine an indigenous voice in the constitution.

“The proposal to create a new constitutional arm of the Australian government that excludes all but one race is illiberal, undemocratic and divisive.”

“The suggestion that every indigenous Australian can or should be represented by a single body is also deeply patronising. Indigenous Australians deserve better than constitutionally enshrined condescension.”

“All Australians are equal under the Australian constitution.”

“The spirit of egalitarianism runs strong in the Australian community. For this reason any referendum proposal seeking to insert race into the constitution will fail.”

“Race has no place in the Australian constitution,” said Mr Breheny.


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].