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Readers have their say regarding the Voice to Parliament referendum.

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I rarely write to a newspaper but knowing that the Catholic Bishops of Australia have endorsed Catholics voting Yes to a Voice to Parliament is the last straw.

The sight of our beautiful Australia potentially sleepwalking into a disaster means that I cannot stay silent. In other words, I need to use my voice.

This one thing that we are given at birth to express ourselves and to make our way in life.

What a cruel irony it would be if in the name of giving Indigenous Australians a special voice the majority of Australians from many backgrounds felt their voice was silenced.

The Voice to Parliament with all its implications, is both wrong in principle and can only be disastrous in practice. The Yes campaign is based on a deceit and is asking for much more than just recognition in the Constitution but will not admit this.

To disagree in any way risks being branded racist. The word racist has become a cheap substitute for mature debate and disagreement.

If you want to truly help our most vulnerable Indigenous Australians the last thing they need is another layer of bureaucracy. We need people who will call existing structures to account and spend the billions of dollars involved in a targeted way that makes a difference.

Any new division such as the Voice is the last thing needed to ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous needs and will only complicate an already flawed system.

Whether you can trace your ancestry to 60,000 years or to much more recently we must each stand equal before the law. Anything that puts this at risk is not worth the risk.

I believe that these are persuasive arguments but all I ask of you is that you be true to your own voice when you mark that referendum paper.

Peter Dunn


As practising Catholics we are appalled that the bishops of Australia have spoken out strongly in favour of the Voice. This stance is also the public position of St Vincent de Paul. While saying they encourage people to do their research, one can’t help but think they are endeavouring to make their followers feel guilty if they don’t vote Yes, based on a position of social justice.

All thinking people have a care for the betterment of the lives of our First Nations People, that is, those Indigenous people who are actually living in unsafe and unhealthy environments. Most people who now declare themselves as First Nations people actually can live quite well in the cities or large country towns with Government subsiding the many not working. The people pushing for the Yes vote are mainly city dwelling, working, well educated people, 11 of whom are already sitting in Parliament, elected by all Australians!

We agree with Bronwyn Bishop’s synopsis when she highlighted that the elders and the hundreds of committees already in existence have not done anything to put all the money they collect from the land they have now as Native Title (nearly half the country) into improving the lives of those Aboriginal people who are suffering.

Also what does it say for the National Indigenous Australians Agency with all their staff and billions in funding? If they are not happy with what they have achieved since 2019, why would the Voice make things any better?  Just more committees and more tax dollars.

The Catholic Bishops have not done themselves any good with this stance which is so idealistic but not at all practical. Anyway, Catholic or not, everyone will vote as they wish on the day. We hope no one is intimidated by the Bishops’ statement.

Anne and Michael Lyons

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