The SA Parliament passes a historic law on the voice of the native people

South Australia is the first state to allow an Indigenous vote in Parliament, with Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas citing this as the strongest sign of respect for Australia’s Indigenous people.

The Labor government bill was passed in a special session of the House of Assembly on Sunday and was immediately proclaimed by Governor Frances Adamson in a rare public ceremony before a cheering crowd gathered to watch the proceedings outside Adelaide’s Parliament House.

Malinauskas said South Australia has a proud history of welcoming people from other cultures and the opportunities for prosperity being passed from one generation to the next is a remarkable Australian story.

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But he said it was an even more remarkable Australian tragedy that the one group of people most left behind in the last 200 years were the people who for more than 65,000 years have “brought great care and concern for the land , on which we stand today”.

“As long as Aboriginal Australians are excluded from sharing in our nation’s prosperity, we bear an injustice that weighs on us all,” said the Prime Minister.

Large crowds were seen outside the South Australian Parliament in Adelaide. Credit: Matt Turner/AAP

With the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Malinauskas said South Australia had accepted an invitation to embark on a new journey of inclusion and reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

“There are no more powerful acts than being the first place in our country to pass legislation in South Australia enshrining an Indigenous voice for our Parliament,” he said.

“Who knows how we might benefit from drawing on 65,000 years of wisdom.

“I firmly believe that this Parliament can learn more than a few things from the longest-lasting continuous culture the world has ever known.”

SA legislation allows for the establishment of six regions across the state, each with directly elected representatives.

Two members from each group then form the State First Nations Voice, which can approach any house of state legislature on legislation of interest to First Nations peoples.

Some administrative work remains to be done, including finalizing the boundaries for each of the representative regions, but the state government hopes to have the system operational by the end of the year.

South Australian Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas. Credit: Matt Turner/AAP

Signing the bill into law, Governor Adamson said the founders of South Australia had good intentions towards Aboriginal people.

“Unfortunately, history shows that they didn’t come to fruition,” she said.

“Today I reaffirm my commitment to support the reconciliation process in our state and to work side by side with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to achieve this goal.”

Dale Agius, Commissioner for the Voice of First Nations in South Australia, said the bill’s passage marked the beginning of an exciting chapter in the history of the state and nation.

“For too long our voices have been excluded or dismissed. Starting today, we have the right to be heard at the highest level of decision-making in this state,” he said.

“After today, Aboriginal people and residents of the Torres Strait Islands in South Australia will be able more than ever to voice their opinions on the decisions that affect their lives.

“And more importantly, they will have the opportunity to communicate to Parliament and the Government their aspirations for the future. This is about generational change, to be included and heard.”

A runaway piglet has sent the locals on a wild geese hunt

A runaway piglet has sent the locals on a wild geese hunt The SA Parliament passes a historic law on the voice of the native people

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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