South Australia Parliament to Sit on Sunday for Voice Legislation

Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.
March 25, 2023Updated: March 25, 2023

South Australia will hold a special parliamentary sitting to pass legislation allowing for an Indigenous voice to state parliament.

Sunday’s sitting in the House of Assembly will endorse the Labor government’s bill which has already passed parliament’s upper house.

Once endorsed, Governor Frances Adamson, Premier Peter Malinauskas and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher will publicly proclaim the legislation on the steps of parliament house.

Parts of North Terrace will be blocked off, with the proceedings shown on large screens and free public transport provided.

Respected elder Moogy Sumner will open proceedings with a special smoking ceremony and multi-talented Aboriginal singer-songwriter Nathan May will perform.

The SA legislation proposes six regions with directly elected representatives be established around South Australia.

Two members from each group would then form the State First Nations Voice, which could address either house of state parliament on particular legislation of interest to Aboriginal people.

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

“Sunday will be an historic day for SA and for First Nations people, as South Australia becomes the first state in the commonwealth to adopt a voice to parliament, one of the key tenets of the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher said.

“It will also be a significant moment for those in the broader community who wish to share their support of the voice.

“I look forward to the public being given a rare glimpse into the process of law-making on such a momentous occasion and encourage everyone who can to attend.”