United voice? Mundine and Greens forge unlikely alliance

United voice? Mundine and Greens forge unlikely alliance
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Former Liberal candidate Warren Mundine has met with Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe to discuss how best to oppose the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

The political enemies find themselves united in opposition to the proposal which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says will be put to the public at a referendum.

The Voice to Parliament would create a special group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who could advise parliament on policies that affect their lives.

Mundine, himself Indigenous and an advocate for Indigenous people, is a fierce critic of the idea.

“Not one person has been able to explain what a Voice to Parliament is and how it’s going to operate,” he told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

“If you’re going to look at changing the constitution then you better have all your ducks in a row and you should be making sure that it is operating properly, and we know what we’re getting.”

Thorpe, also Indigenous and known for her radical stance on Indigenous issues including referring to Queen Elizabeth II as a colonizer, has said she rejects the Voice because only a treaty could fix Indigenous disadvantage.

Mundine said it was “strange” that the impetus for the Voice seemed to be coming from big city corporations rather than from people in Indigenous communities.

He said many Indigenous people did not understand how the Voice would help them get a job, get their kids to school or “make their community economically prosperous”.

He was planning to tour the country with country liberal senator Jacinta Price in coming months to promote the “no” cause.

The Prime Minister has floated the idea that neither the “yes” nor the “no” side of the argument would receive money to promote their cause. Mundine argues this is unfair since corporate Australia was effectively bankrolling the “yes” side.

The government has promised a Voice to Parliament referendum during its first term but has not revealed the date Australians will be asked to vote on the issue.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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