At the request of Senator McCarthy and Senator Cox, I move the motion standing in my name and the name of Senator Cox:
That the Senate—
(a) endorses the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, as a matter of priority, including a Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission for agreement-making and truth-telling; and
(b) notes that all members of the Constitutional Expert Group have agreed that the proposed alteration to the Constitution 'would not affect the sovereignty of any group or body'.
Senator Cox, are you seeking leave to make a one-minute statement?
It's your name on the motion, Senator Cox, so you can't speak to it.
Senator Cox can actually seek leave. It's up to people to deny her leave, but there's nothing, in my view, in the standing orders that would prevent her from seeking leave.
In the interest of advising the chamber, we had an agreement between our party and your party, Senator Cox, that, in order to maintain the provisions that we all agreed to, we wouldn't be having statements. I'd prefer not to deny the senator leave, so I'd prefer that she not seek it in the first place.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
Leave is granted for one minute.
If you are of voting age, whatever your age, this referendum is possibly one of the most important decisions you will ever make. You will now go to the ballot box without detail, with an untested, risky proposition which, if successful, will be permanent. There is not an Australian that does not want the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be better, because when that happens we all benefit. The Australian Constitution belongs to everyone equally. This is not the right reason, not the right question, not the right words and not the right solution for change. Abdicating accountability for change is a cop-out. This is another bureaucracy, as if they are not enough voices already. The Voice concept, the Voice conversation and the conduct of the opposition in the path of this bill will take us to a divided nation, regardless of the result. Labor's Voice is full of risk, full of expectations and full of emotion. So now I, like you, get to go to the ballot box to say no to that.
The question before the Senate is that the motion in the names of Senator McCarthy and Senator Cox, titled 'Uluru Statement from the Heart', be agreed to.
Date and time: 3:45 PM on 2023-06-19
Senator Pocock's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 32
Total number of "no" votes: 29
Total number of abstentions: 15
Adapted from information made available by theyvoteforyou.org.au