The Voice to Parliament | Gadens is committed to supporting First Nations peoples after No vote
16 October 2023
The Australian public has voted. Failing to meet a double majority, the referendum on the Voice to Parliament has resulted in a No outcome.
This means that the Voice to Parliament will not be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution.
The immediate legal implications of this are that no new body will be established as proposed by the referendum, albeit that it is open to the Federal and State Governments to introduce a legislative mechanism similar to the Voice.
Otherwise, parliament and the government will continue to operate as they have. This means that representations on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will continue to be sourced from existing avenues, such as advisory groups and representatives.
While it is legally allowed for the Albanese Government to propose another referendum on the Voice to Parliament at any time, this seems unlikely, at least in the short term and until there is broader support in the parliament and in the public that this is the most appropriate structure.
Gadens CEO, Mark Pistilli, has made the following statement:
“This referendum was about the right mechanism to advance the interests of First Nations peoples and to close the gap. All sides, even the No campaign, acknowledged that Australia still has a long way to go on its journey towards reconciliation and it largely came down to a question of what the right way to do that is.
“While the Voice to Parliament will not be a part of Australia’s law-making, we can see a lot of work being done to find a replacement mechanism that will achieve what was hoped by some for the Voice.
“Gadens wants to be part of that search for the right mechanism. We remain committed to assisting First Nations peoples, and we will continue on our reconciliation journey. As part of that we will continue advocating for reconciliation, supporting the voices of First Nations peoples, and educating on the importance of an equitable, attentive, and representative legal system.”