Race-based constitutional amendment a mistake: Price

Indigenous Senator Jacinta Price has warned that the government’s proposed Voice to Parliament constitutional amendment will likely result in endless High Court challenges.

Race-based constitutional amendment a mistake: Price
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The Country Liberal Party Senator said she worried about a provision allowing the Voice to “make representations” to the “Executive Government”.

“If they do not agree with what the executive has to say or what they want to legislate, there is no guarantee that they will not take this to the High Court to challenge,” Senator Price said.

Her warning came after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held back tears announcing wording of the referendum question to be put to the public later this year.

Price said it was a mistake to give the Voice power to make representations to the executive and she accused the Prime Minister of buckling to activist demands by including it.

“This voice proposal, the question going forward and the fact that it refers to the executive is very dangerous,” she said.

But the Prime Minister, when asked whether the inclusion of “Executive Government” would lead to legal challenges, instead that the wording was legally sound.

He said the referendum working group included some of the “best legal minds in the country” and that they had been careful to “rule out any of the nonsense” which could be used to undermine the referendum proposal.

“If you look at the tweaking of some of the words, it's based upon advice, making it very clear about the primacy of the parliament, making it very clear that this isn't about veto or third chambers or anything else,” he said.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has demanded the Prime Minister release the Solicitor-General's advice on the constitutional amendment which may have suggested the removal of the words "Executive Government".

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  • By Avi Yemini

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