The Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) National General Assembly (NGA) is aiming to champion the voices of councils Australia-wide – especially those of First Nations mayors and local governments – holding an eye-opening ‘A Conversation About the Voice’ panel. 

The panel featured discussion from Mayor Ross Andrews, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, Mayor Matthew Ryan, West Arnhem Regional Council, Cr Esma Livermore, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and Mayor Phillemon Mosby, Torres Strait Island Regional Council. 

The near hour-long session featured robust discussion on how local governments can aid First Nations communities in the short and long term, and as they prepare for the 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum in October. The session was followed by questions from delegates. 

Mayor Mosby gave a particularly moving response to a question from the crowd asking why some First Nations people have been outspoken regarding their opposition to the Voice. 

“We need to have a good conversation with the anti supporters, a proper conversation, about where we have come from,” Mayor Mosby said.

 “Work with us, walk with us as well. Where I come from, right up at the top end, we are so disadvantaged in our infrastructure, our roads, houses, our whole community is at disadvantage – we want to be the solution not the problem.”

Mayor Mosby went on to state that, “we want to be the decision makers, we want to be the policy makers”.

Council Magazine Editor, April Shepherd, is reporting live from the event. 

Stay tuned to Council to see more updates and coverage from the NGA. 

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