Green Senator Lidia Thorpe calls the Voice to Parliament referendum a “waste of money”.

Two of the most influential Indigenous federal politicians oppose the Voice to Parliament proposal, with Green Party Senator Lidia Thorpe calling the referendum a “waste of money”.

In a major blow to Anthony Albanese’s flagship politics, Senator Thorpe declared that the chances of her backing the vote “do not look good”.

Incoming Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price – who is a rising star in the coalition – is also opposed to the Voice, believing the measure is symbolic and will not really improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

The two senators agree on little – but both to join forces to oppose Labor’s proposal would be a major blow to Mr Albanese’s hopes of convincing the Australian people.

In a major blow to Anthony Albanese's flagship politics, Senator Thorpe (pictured) declared that the chances of her backing the vote

In a major blow to Anthony Albanese’s flagship politics, Senator Thorpe (pictured) declared that the chances of her backing the vote “do not look good”.

Incoming Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price - who is a rising star in the coalition - is also opposed to the Voice, believing the measure is symbolic and will not really improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

Incoming Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price – who is a rising star in the coalition – is also opposed to the Voice, believing the measure is symbolic and will not really improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

What is the indigenous voice in Parliament?

Anthony Albanese wants a constitutional body that would allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advise Parliament on policies and projects that affect their lives.

A referendum is needed to change the constitution. TThe vote will need the support of a majority of Australians in most states to succeed.

Senator Thorpe wants a First Nations treaty before the vote of Parliament and believes a referendum to change the constitution is a waste of time and money.

“The costs associated with a referendum are better spent on what is needed in our communities,” she told the Nine newspaper.

“I think it’s a waste of money. It’s a wasted exercise. You don’t need a referendum to have a treaty.’

The prime minister wants to enshrine in the constitution the Voice, a group that would advise the government on how the policy would affect indigenous people.

Senator Thorpe said the Labor government has never approached her to discuss the vote.

The federal government will need the support of the Greens to pass a bill authorizing a referendum if the coalition refuses to support the proposal.

“Since we don’t even know what that is [Voice] looks or what the [referendum] Question is or one of the details, it’s pretty hard to say if you can support something you don’t know about,” Senator Thorpe said.

She indicated that she could support them if recommendations were made that would save the lives of the indigenous people.

The senator’s comments have prompted Green Party leader Adam Bandt to reassure the party that it is again committed to negotiating “in good faith”.

“The federal government can make a significant difference in the lives of indigenous people immediately as we work to advance all elements of the Uluru Declaration,” the spokesman said.

While coalition Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is opposed to the Voice, opposition leader Peter Dutton says he is “open-minded”.

The Prime Minister wants all Australians to take ownership of the referendum process and have time to debate what an Indigenous vote would mean.

Senator Thorpe has yet to decide whether she will personally support Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's (pictured) proposed referendum.

Senator Thorpe has yet to decide whether she will personally support Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s (pictured) proposed referendum.

“It’s a fairly simple proposal here to recognize Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people in our constitution to create a voice, a body to be consulted,” Mr Albanese told Sydney radio 2SM on Tuesday.

“This is not a third chamber of parliament, this is not a decision-making body, it is simply a matter of good manners and respect to recognize people in the constitution and then consult them on matters that directly affect them.”

He also defended his decision to enlist the support of former US basketball star Shaquille O’Neal when the two met last weekend.

It prompted Senator Thorpe to blast O’Neal’s attempted promotional appearance for The Voice given his ties to the gambling industry, which severely affects Aboriginal communities in particular.

“I mean he’s here for a speaking tour, good for him, and he’s also here for PointsBet, which is about gambling, which is about destroying families,” Ms Thorpe told radio 3AW on Monday.

‘He sticks his nose into business that has nothing to do with him.

“He doesn’t understand what’s going on in this country and he shouldn’t comment on that.

“You don’t need a referendum to have a treaty.”

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal (centre) is pictured with Indigenous Australian Minister Linda Burney (left) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right).

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal (centre) is pictured with Indigenous Australian Minister Linda Burney (left) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right).

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11166317/Greens-Senator-Lidia-Thorpe-labels-Voice-Parliament-referendum-waste-money.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Green Senator Lidia Thorpe calls the Voice to Parliament referendum a “waste of money”.

Bradford Betz

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