Skip navigation

Speech: SA First Nations Voice Repeal Bill

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (16:31): I rise on behalf of the Greens, but also on at least 11 votes in this place, to speak against the First Nations Voice Repeal Bill 2023. The Hon. Sarah Game of the One Nation party has finally—after a few false starts—introduced this repeal bill to repeal a piece of legislation that has already passed this council and this parliament in this term of parliament, to repeal a bill that is a Malinauskas government election pledge made good in the parliament, and that was a Greens election pledge made good in the parliament.

When the Hon. Sarah Game claims that much has been said about a Voice, this chamber and this parliament is the voice of all South Australians in this state. When political parties make election promises, take them to the people, put their candidates out to the people, and are elected to this place, I think the people of South Australia expect us to keep our promises.

Some parties did not put many pledges out to the electorate whatsoever, and certainly the One Nation party made no statement during the state election about a Voice to Parliament that I could find on the record. What I could find was the very public commitment by the Labor Party and the Greens that we would legislate a First Nations Voice to Parliament. By my count that adds up to more than the 11 votes needed in this place, and it means that this bill is doomed to fail.

While it has finally been introduced into this place after much fanfare, largely on places like Sky News, I do not want the South Australian public to think that there is any chance whatsoever—and I certainly do not want those First Nations people who, in good faith, supported my political party and the party of government of this place—to think for a second that there is a hope in hell of this bill passing this place. It will go no further, and I challenge the Hon. Sarah Game to put it to a vote in the next sitting week of parliament rather than debating this through Sky News as opposed to the chamber of the parliament, which is the representative voice of all South Australians.

I am not the only one who has had my mind boggled by this. We have treated Aboriginal people in this country differently for a very long time. We have had White Australia policies where we have treated other races, as well, very differently for a very long time. But to treat our First Nations people in this nation so abysmally, where we sought to assimilate them, where we sought to annihilate them, where we stole their children, and have recognised this in this parliament, Mr President, as you well know, with a compensation scheme to make reparations for the harm that we have done First Nations people in this nation, it is the least we can do to make amends, not just by apologising, not just by ensuring reparations, but by ensuring that they have a voice that this parliament pledges to, hopefully listen to.

Even when members of this parliament do not listen to that First Nations Voice, some of us will be listening, and the community will hear loud and clear who is actually representing the people of this state, who is keeping their election promises and who is simply doing another stunt for Sky News and thumbing their nose at the democracy that has already happened in this parliament.

This parliament has voted on this issue. This issue should be settled but, of course, the member who has introduced this bill today, as I say, after a few false starts, wishes to have the argument again. What will not change—and we can have all the arguments in the world, and I look forward to them if that is the way the honourable member wishes to take this particular debate—is that she does not have 11 votes in this place. There are 22 members. She will need 11 votes. She does not have 11 votes. This bill is going nowhere, and with that I seek leave to conclude my comments when I hope it goes to a vote in the next week of sitting.

Continue Reading

Read More

Speech: Parliamentary Committees Bill

April 12, 2024

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I rise to speak to the Parliamentary Committees Bill 2024, a bill that provides for the establishment of various parliamentary committees, defines the powers and duties of those committees, makes related amendments to various acts and repeals the Parliamentary Committees...

Read more