The hits to the divisive Voice just keep coming. What exactly will it have a say over when it comes to your democratically elected government?
Don’t ask Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. He’s not saying.
But the Institute of Public Affairs's Daniel Wild this week left Australians in doubt about how bad this Constitutional rewrite would be.
On ABC Perth, he spoke about the IPA’s research into what he described as New Zealand’s Maori Voice, called the Waitangi Tribunal.
The Waitangi Tribunal started out as an advisory body but has morphed into an all-powerful arm of government embedded into “every single major policy decision in New Zealand”.
Mr Wild said it now has “veto over a number of major pieces of legislation which in essence has actually made the New Zealand Parliament subservient to the Maori Voice to Parliament”.
All because of decisions of the NZ High Court.
And that’s the risk with the divisive Voice.
“We are talking about a massive change to our Constitution and it is clear that the High Court will be involved,” Mr Wild said.
“The idea that the High Court will not be involved is just flat out wrong because anything that’s in the Constitution is by definition within the remit of the High Court. That is the High Court’s job – to interpret legislation in the context of constitutional provisions.
"Once it’s in the Constitution, it’s there forever, it opens up potential legal avenues and the High Court will be involved.”
Constitutional lawyer and Voice supporter Greg Craven agrees.
Writing in The Australian, he said there would be no part of the federal government where the Voice would not reach.
He criticised the Prime Minister for not understanding the “vital issue of the Voice making representations to executive government”.
“Albanese just cannot get the Voice’s scope right," Professor Craven said.
“He is forever saying that this or that decision would never be covered and would be up to parliament.
“So far, he has exempted Reserve Bank decisions on interest rates, decisions on national security, and carbon guarantees. But he is irretrievably wrong. The Voice covers all executive action. Each of these is an executive act. Consequently, they would attract Voice representations. End of lesson.”
Professor Craven also rubbished the Prime Minister’s assertion that parliament can overrule the Voice.
"Wrong,” he said.
“The only way [the Voice's] representations can be proofed against being legal Exocets is if the constitutional amendment specifically allows parliament to define their legal effect.”
And that’s exactly what the pro-Voice activists refused to allow.
They know the divisive Voice will upend your stable system of constitutional democracy and that’s exactly what they want.
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