Hepburn Shire Council in support of the Voice to Parliament
Published on 16 August 2023
Hepburn Shire Council has formally stated its unanimous support for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the Voice to Parliament.
Mayor of Hepburn Shire Council Cr Brian Hood said this stance is consistent with Council’s position to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart in August 2022.
“Our support for the Voice to Parliament aligns with the work Council does towards recognition and reconciliation, including actions within our four-year Council Plan, Community Vision and Reconciliation Action Plan,” said Cr Hood.
“Examples of this work include the award-winning Manna Gums Frontier Wars Memorial near Coomoora; bringing language back to Country with the creek naming of Larni Barramal Yaluk; and supporting a range of community activities that promote understanding and reconciliation,” he said.
In reaching its unanimous decision councillors acknowledged that a First Nations Voice to Parliament would be an independent, representative advisory body that will provide a permanent means to advise Parliament and Government on matters affecting the lives of First Nations communities – including advice on practical steps to improve health, education, employment and housing. Most importantly, a Voice to Parliament would be the means for recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution for the first time.
Councillors further noted that supporting constitutional recognition aligns with Hepburn Shire Council’s Reconciliation Plan and its underlying commitments to self-determination, partnerships, community dialogue and truth-telling.
Council has also resolved to share clear, credible information on the Voice to Parliament and all aspects of the upcoming referendum.
“We appreciate there are divergent views on this matter within the community. Providing clear and credible information will assist residents in making their own considered and informed decision," said Cr Hood.
“As always, we encourage our community to inform themselves and respectfully exercise their democratic right to have their say,” he said.
Council adopted the following motion:
1. In recognition of the position advocated by the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and consistent with the Council motion of August 2022 supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, formally supports constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, through a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution;
2. Commits to sharing clear, credible information on the Voice to Parliament and all aspects of the upcoming referendum to assist residents in making their own considered and informed choice on the day; and
3. Acknowledges that any position resolved by Council is without prejudice to individual position each Councillor, or Council officer, may privately or publicly pursue.
Read more about the Voice to Parliament.