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Photo courtesy of the ABC News (Che Chorley).

The South Australian Government has introduced a bill to legislate for Australia’s first Voice to Parliament for First Nations People.

The First Nations Voice Bill 2023 will establish the Voice, and allow South Australia to take a significant step towards implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The bill was introduced to Parliament on Thursday following engagement with First Nations communities and the broader SA community, led by the Commissioner for First Nations Voice Dale Agius.
It proposes a connected, direct, and independent line of communication for First Nations people to South Australia’s Parliament and the Government, to allow important, shared communication by locally elected regional members.

Under the legislation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enrolled to vote will be able to elect a group of people from their geographical area: half of them men and half of them women.

Overall, 40 people would be elected and then 12 of those would form a state-wide Voice that could speak on any bill before Parliament.

The Voice could be in place by the middle of the year — ahead of the referendum to create a federal body.

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