Note: p.17 – page number. P.100/272 is the .pdf number, 2 higher than the written page number
I’m a very, very long term regular reader and rare contributor. I’ve been through a proggie vengeance attack cycle for public commentary before. So the above is a throwaway nom de plume. Any future contributions of mine will bear nom de plumes drawn from the names of the ships in the Spanish Fleet at Trafalgar.
- has to produce nothing,
- has no KPI,
- controlled by the urban extreme-left activist class,
- able to interfere in Parliament and Government at will,
- not responsible tor alleviating any Aboriginal problems,
- (within described functions) placed outside Australian law.
The Regional Voice concept contains some good ideas regarding coordination at policy and implementation levels. There is value in this part of the Report and it alludes to improving the lives of rural and remote Aboriginal Australians.
The National Voice part is abominable: this is where the activist capture of the process, for personal gain in terms of power and money are clearly illustrated. Responsibility and accountability are obviously anathema to the activist class. Their attraction to money, power and unaccountability for their actions are clearly illustrated. The obvious intent of the activist class can be derived from Chapter 2 of the Report: it is to be very well paid, totally secure in those payments, based in Canberra, not accountable for anything they do, have no KPI by which to ever be held accountable, required not to deliver anything to anyone, completely protected from criticism or scrutiny and to be considered virtuous by the public irrespective of their moral or personal corruption. In this part of the Report the true intent of the activist class is discernible, and the last thing they appear to be interested in is assisting rural Aborigines. This is controversial, yet proof of assessment lies in the complete lack of any structures, mechanisms, KPI or accountability structures in the National Voice sections of the Report:
– Numerous appeals to the ‘authority’ of consultation with no facts/data on the how, who, why and where of this consultation occurred.
– The statements that the three-layer second government being proposed is ‘advisory’ is contradicted throughout the document, ie p.17:
? All levels of government come together in a coordinated way (how is this done, who coordinates and under what authority?)
? Requires systematic transformation of government ways of ‘doing business’ (what does ‘requires’ mean? If the entire government has to transform structurally to accord to the voice, this cannot be merely advisory)
– Formal commitments are required (p.17/272), these would be legally enforceable, if formal but the reverse is not so.
– The 24 members are apparently not elected but selected – by ‘assemblies’ which are structurally based on ‘base members’ apparently from the cities where organisations are dominated by far left-wing activists.
? Actual rural Aborigines where the major problems lie are only permitted 6/24 of the members. (p.18/272) and all ‘decisions’ from the NV cannot be appealed in the justice system: so the activists are automatically placed above the law. (p.18/272) ie: All elements would be non-justiciable, meaning that there could not be a court challenge and no law could be invalidated based on whether there was alignment with the consultation standards or transparency mechanisms.
– Nothing is merit-based. There’s a compulsory 50:50 gender mix.
– A member could be removed from their position for misconduct, subject to a review process and a two-thirds super-majority vote of the membership. So if there is a 2/3 permanent majority of urban activists, and an urban activist is corrupt, there is no chance of them being removed, per ATSIC.
– Advice would be both proactive and responsive. The National Voice would be able to initiate advice…the National Voice would have a responsibility and right to advise the Parliament. So this is a right and can be given when not asked for, in other words it cannot be refused. Advice that cannot be refused is not advice, it’s direction. (p.21/272)
– Advice would be provided to both the Parliament and the Australian Government. So NV can direct the APS without recourse to the responsible Minister?
– Advice would generally be public, with discretion for informal discussions where appropriate. So NV direction can be kept secret from the public, at their discretion, and this cannot be challenged in court as their advice is above the law.
– Each Local & Regional Voice will be a governance arrangement in each region. So it’s not an advisory entity at all, it’s a governance structure. (p.23/272)
– Communities will determine the implementation pace and their preferred governance. Governments will resource, support and enable this. So the point mentioned in the executive summary that NV won’t have its own resources is false in intent: the NV can direct local government to resource it. This appears to be a directive, unelected governance structure dominated by inner-city activists, and placed above the law. (p.25/272)
– Secretariat (‘backbone’) team resourced by government at the regional level, which will facilitate and support all aspects of Local & Regional Voice work, including enabling and assisting community-level groups and arrangements as needed. Where will this be based? Alice Springs where the real problems lie or in plush buildings in Canberra? (p.26 of 272)
– Legislation (at both Commonwealth and state and territory levels) and cross-jurisdictional agreements will be needed to set out governments’ commitments… So the requirements for public funding will be legislated. This looks like ATSIC on steroids, an endless well-funded, above-the-law gravy train for the activist class.
– There is some good conceptualisation in the local and regional chapter 1 and there is certainly much improvement possible in inter-state/ territory and portfolio coordination. There is certainly too much stovepiping, so this is good work. That’s not the point being criticised: it’s plain from this document that this is a captured process. The ‘good ideas’ part has been captured by an activist class using the process to place themselves in invincible positions of power, as they will be above the law. Once again the rural and non-urban centre Aborigines will be exploited by the activist class for that class’s personal gain. Just like ATSIC.
– The use of anonymous ‘survey points’ through out the document is irrelevant and an obvious propaganda issue. This is evidence of process capture – it’s an appeal to the emotions. See p.39/272 for an example.
– The regional principles (p.40/272) appear fine, yet have loaded terminology, ie “inclusive participation” is used – but that is a lie. Only people who meet a specific racial criteria are permitted. How is this “All have the opportunity to have a say” but the vast majority of Australians are not allowed that. Why are Australians being divided in racial lines in this manner if not at the urging of a far-left wing activist class? This is made plain in 1.6.4. and on p.48/272.
– While cultural safety was explicitly referenced… What does this term mean, specifically? Where is it defined? (p.45/272)
– Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have greater control and voice in their own affairs: a self-determination approach. Governments shift to an enabling role. And there it is, 1st class Australians have self-determination, 2nd class Australians are forced to fund them. And the division is on racialist lines. Just HOW are Aboriginal Australians not able to exercise individual liberty, freedom and self-determination now? Where is the ‘problem’ this NV concept is supposed to be fixing? HOW will NV fix this undefined problem?
– The term ‘stolen generations’ is used repeatedly (example: p.48/272). The SG hypothesis is that colonial governments ‘stole’ Aboriginal children because of the colour of their skin as part of a systematic program to eradicate Aboriginals, and that this practice continued after Federation. There is not the slightest evidence for this anywhere: such programs would require legislation, regulation, government bureaucrats and all that entails, funding lines in budgets, employees, reporting mechanisms on how many children had been seized, reports on what happened to them etc. There is no evidence in any archive that any of these things ever existed and intensive scholarship has debunked the hypothesis. That this debunked SG hypothesis is treated as fact in this report is firm evidence of ‘process capture’ by the activist class.
– The Report is poorly structured, with endless duplication and a poor logic structure. It is a 40 page document squeezed into 272 pages.
– Money. …governments need to provide adequate, secure and long-term resourcing….(p.60/272) The appeal for money is constant throughout the document, another indicator of process capture by the activist class.
– Nomination of members p.63/272. People are nominated and selected. By who? How? Why are they not elected?
– 1.14. …the National Voice members would be collectively selected… Why not elected? The 35 ‘regions’ are, after all, governance structures! (1.16 Governance Structures Examples starting on p.90/272)) Who selects people, by what mechanisms, under what oversight? Who validates these unelected selections? Recall that they are NOT advisory according to the report, but directive, and above the law.
National Voice (starts p.106/272)
– For some time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been calling for a national-level mechanism to have a greater say in the laws of the Australian Parliament, policies and Australian Government decisions that affect them.
? What people? Only the activist class has been doing this.
- There are 3.2% of the Australian population who are Aboriginal
- There are 11 Aboriginal MPs and Senators.
- There are 151 MPs and 76 senators, 227, so4.8% are Aboriginal.
- Aborigines ALREADY have a ‘greater say’ in Parliament than other Australians, if one insists on being racialist about the matter, as this report is.
– 2.2 (p.110/272) The National Voice would consist of 24 members with gender balance structurally guaranteed. / The base membership model provides for 2 members from each state, the NT, ACT and the Torres Strait.
– How are base members selected? This issue is avoided, so this is where the radical left-wing activist class have captured the process. It will be them in control.
– So all power (because there’s: an ‘obligation to consult’ the National Voice.). The National Voice would be an advisory body to the Australian Parliament and Government. And no responsibility or accountability… The National Voice would not have a service delivery function
– The compliance of the Australian Parliament and Government with these elements could not be challenged in a court. So the NV is above the law and cannot ever be held accountable for anything it does. Even the High Court has no jurisdiction.
– Corporate Form (p.109/272)
? The National Voice would be supported by its own Office of the National Voice.
? The National Voice and its Office would be an independent corporate Commonwealth entity established by legislation.
– So there it is, a lavishly funded ONV in Canberra (where else) staffed by left-wing activists, unaccountable , has to be consulted, unaccountable, unelected and above Australian law.
– 2.2 and 2.3 contain no information about how NV members get to that position – except that they are ‘appointed’ after being ‘collectively determined’
– …the National Voice is intended to be a policy and advisory body rather than a proportionally representative body, but… mainland needs to reflect the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices across the country so it is structured as a proportionally representative body. (p117/272) This can and will be leveraged by the activist class (this is their demonstrable nature) to claim that it is proportionally representative, and this feeds into their sovereignty argument. While it might be representative, it is not elected or accountable.
– 2.6.2. covers NV membership. The Ethics Council decides who is eligible, and it is 3-5 people … with a majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—in appointing people to these positions, there would be consideration of appropriate skill sets such as governance, law, dispute resolution and cultural guidance. (emphasis added). This is the group the extreme left-wing activists in full control of the NV. In judging members and their actions, they are judge, jury and executioner. Non-Aboriginal people can be members of the Ethics Committee, they will be the ones with appropriate skill sets such as governance, law, dispute resolution and cultural guidance.
– While Ethics Council members do not all have to be Aboriginal, NV membership is racially based, they must all be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. (p/141/272)
– Functions… the National Voice would have a responsibility and right to advise the Australian Parliament and Government.(p.150/272) So the Australian Parliament and Government cannot refuse advice from the NV. Again, this reinforces that this is Directive, not advisory.
? The National Voice would determine which issues it would provide advice on.
? Advice to Government could include engaging with ministers and officials, including those responsible for mainstream policies and programs.
? Advice would be both proactive and responsive.
? The National Voice cannot be required to provide advice…
– This indicates that opinions that the NV is little more than an activist-controlled boondoggle cannot be dismissed. It is structured as one would be.
– 2.8.4. The National Voice should have scope to take on a role in the future at appropriate international forums… So lots of scope for overseas trips at taxpayer expense for NV members. Why is a purely domestic body desirous of a formal international role?
– P.155/272. The National Co-design Group did not view the proposal for the National Voice to advise both Parliament and Government as inconsistent with the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The statement itself refers to a ‘First Nations Voice’ and does not specify that it would only advise Parliament.
? The Uluru Statement is reportedly a rebadged African statement, a judgement of the International Court of Justice that was put forward by the representative of the Republic of Zaire. Legal Affairs Contributor at the Australian Chris Merritt https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/uluru-statement-plugged-in-and-imported-from-the-republic-of-zaire/ar-AA18aiJX (Unconfirmed.)
? This may be a ‘hook’ by which the separate radical racial supremacist sovereignty argument pushed by extremists (ie a certain radical Senator) can be advanced.
– P.157/272 notes that ATSIC was unable to deal with advocacy and service delivery. So the NV will dump delivery: so how is it supposed to be ‘fixing all the issues’ as politicians have claimed?
– 2.9 The National Co-design Group agreed that this should be complemented by a formal interface with Parliament and Government. There is an incoherence here with the active avoidance of accountability and basic democratic process while mandating NV injection into Parliamentary and government processes. This makes the NV concept appear parasitic, because : Parliament and Government would have an obligation to consult on primary legislation… (p.162/272). This supports the viewpoint: Non-justiciable. The [consultation standards] standards set out above would be non-justiciable, meaning alignment with the standards could not be challenged in court and could not affect the legal validity of laws or policies. (p.170/272) This does not make a lot of sense.
– P.183/272. …the National Voice should be supported by a CEO and policy and administrative support staff. This would be the Office of the National Voice. This structure should be entirely separate from any existing body and under the control of the National Voice members and co-chairs.
? Again there is no mention of selection for these people, and again this is a pointer to an activist capture of this process. If the activists also control the admin support staff, and the ethics council, then they control the process.
? This is reinforced by 2.11.2: The National Voice should be a new independent Commonwealth entity. So it’s independent, has no accountability, must be consulted, may force consultation into government functions by having a legislated ‘right’ to do so, and is outside the law when it does so.
? There are some racial and other boundaries to this, but the structure is one perfectly designed for pre-capture by activists, for activists. The NV has no discernible deliverables at all, no metrics, no KPI and no accountability. It is structured to be the perfect talking-shop and and to provide power and personal gain for the activist ‘super-Karen’ class.
– An independent Commonwealth body would be established in legislation. The legislation would provide that decisions on advice and strategy are made by the members of the National Voice and cannot be made or directed by the Government, ministers or officials. The Parliament would appropriate money to fund the new entity through the budget process. Regardless of the choice of entity type, legislation would be required to establish the National Voice.
? This is a remarkable statement. The NV can do anything, is outside government influence, and cannot be directed by Parliament. It is outside Australian governance, but the taxpayer pays for it. The sheer arrogance of this proposal is breathtaking and may have no comparison in Australian history.
? It is also a cash-funnel to the activist class.
– Urgency. The risk of not acting urgently is the continuation of the crushing levels of poverty, disadvantage and inequity experienced by so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those in remote areas where access to services is generally limited. This is the classic radical activist tactic of creating an emergency’ to which only they have the answer, but it has to be done on their terms and immediately. Yet nowhere in this document is there the slightest indication of HOW the NV will stop “crushing levels of poverty, disadvantage and inequity experienced by so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those in remote areas where access to services is generally limited.”
? All that is really mentioned is improving cooperation between existing government programs! The unelected, unaccountable, expensive and outside-the-law actually has no apparent role – except perhaps to absorb taxpayer money.
The Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Final Report to the Australian Government is verbose, repetitive, duplicative, poorly thought through, badly structured, illogical and clearly illustrates process capture by the activist class.
Chapter 1 is the regional section has some good ideas and is where the limited value the Report has actually lies. Chapter 2 covers the National Voice (NV) and this clearly illustrates the radical left-wing urban activist capture of this process.
As with all processes captured by radicals, this is the thin edge of a very large wedge. Senator Lydia Thorpe has clearly revealed this and her model of an entirely ‘sovereign Aboriginal’ control over the continent where the 3.5% of the Australian population who are Aboriginal ‘own’ the landmass and all it contains and have rents paid to them by the 96.5% of Australians who are not Aboriginal. The leader of this in Thorpe’s view would be herself or someone like herself, who would not be elected in any way but start off in control of something like the National Voice.