Former Judge: the Voice will harm Australia

On Friday, submissions to the Parliament’s Inquiry into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum closed and there were some bombshells that show what a bad idea the divisive Voice is for our country.

As the Daily Telegraph reported, one of the biggest came from former NSW Court of Appeals judge, The Hon. Terence Cole – a judge who also headed up two Royal Commissions.

Cole’s submission is brief but powerful in explaining how, on principle, the divisive Voice will “be to the permanent detriment of Australia and its peoples”.

He couldn’t be clearer about why the Voice will harm our nation’s unity:

“Dividing Australian society permanently based on race is inconsistent with the great unified multicultural society Australia has established since World War II…

The potential for great irredeemable harm to Australian society means the Voice should never be incorporated into the Australian constitution, which should be amended only if such amendment advantages Australian society as a whole. The Voice does not.”

It’s divisive and would create a constitutional preference for one group of Australians over another. That is the basic premise of the divisive Voice and, as Cole writes, “this is wrong in principle”.

Spot on.

Of course there are other submissions from other legal experts and organisations both for and against the Voice. The very fact that there are such divergent views on how the divisive Voice will affect the Constitution and to what extent the courts will be involved is proof that this is not a ‘modest’ and ‘simple’ proposal.

It is, in fact, complex and contested, and will change the way our country works.

And Cole cuts to the heart of it: the legal implications are only part of the story, most fundamentally it’s wrong to enshrine division in our Constitution. 

And that’s why we must vote No.