Voice in Parliament No leaflets: Single sentence angers Conservative constitutional lawyer Greg Craven
A constitutional expert condemned the Vote No campaign Professor Greg Craven quoted in the campaign leaflet, saying he would complain to the Electoral Commission
A Conservative constitutional lawyer who backs Voice to Parliament has been outraged after a quote he gave was used in a No campaign pamphlet.
Professor Greg Craven, a legal academic and an expert behind the original Aboriginal Voices proposal, said he would complain about the incident to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
The AEC on Tuesday released official leaflets for the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament Yes and No campaign.
A quote Professor Craven gave during an interview on radio station 2GB in March was printed in the No article as a reason for voting against the Albanese government’s draft amendment to the People’s Voice.
‘I think it is fatally flawed because what it does is retain the full range of review of executive action,’ Professor Craven said at the time.
Conservative constitutional lawyer, Professor Greg Craven (pictured), slammed the No campaign for quoting him in their official pamphlet and said he would complain to the AEC.
‘This means Voice can comment on everything from submarines to parking tickets. We will have regular judicial intervention.’
The pamphlet incorrectly attributed the quote to Daily Mail Australia.
Although Professor Craven initially took issue with the plan to give voice opportunities to advise the government and parliament, he has backed the proposal since the term was finalised.
‘I am beside myself with anger. I’ve never found myself in bad company,’ he told The Australian about the No campaign.
‘Effectively putting forth these words without any acknowledgment that I have consistently said I would support and promote the Voice is simply deceptive.
‘It is absolutely clear to anyone in this debate, including the case and the opposition, that I am unwaveringly committed to VOICE and I will campaign for it.’
In an interview with The Guardian he also said he was ‘absolutely furious’ and condemned any campaign for ‘deeply misleading’ the public and writing an ’embarrassing’ pamphlet.
Professor Craven contacted Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s office last week with concerns that his words were to be published by No Side.
He didn’t get a response.
The No campaign pamphlet used a quote which Professor Craven gave during an interview with 2GB in March as the reason the public should vote against the proposal.
Shadow Indigenous Australian Minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured) defended the professor’s use of words in the essay, saying her concerns at the start of the debate were relevant.
Shadow Indigenous Australian Minister Jacinta Nampizinpa Price, who chaired the No campaign pamphlet, defended the professor’s use of the word in the article.
He noted that he had raised relevant concerns about the proposal early in the debate and said neither side would ‘be able to air those concerns’.
Senator Price noted that the pamphlet stated that Professor Craven was a supporter of VOICE.
The co-chairs of the Uluru Dialogue, Professors Megan Davies and Pat Anderson, condemned the Noe essay as ‘cooked’.
‘Sadly, the NO pamphlet presents the same tired and confusing arguments of a campaign determined to maintain a failed status quo that has always sold Australians short,’ the pair said in a joint statement.
‘No pamphlets have used taxpayers’ money to distribute misleading information aimed at keeping our people at bay.’
The Election Commission explained that it could not edit or fact-check the leaflets before publication for legal reasons.
AC said, nothing much can be done if complaints are made.
Professor Craven recognized this and promised to campaign harder for the Yes side.