The Winning Price for the Coalition’s Voice


The Price is Right was a popular TV show capturing the attention and following of many Australian viewers. Opposition leader Peter Dutton correctly believes that in today’s political world, his Price is also right, and in turn, will attract the following of many Australian electors for the Coalition and against “The Voice.”

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Senator Jacinta Price’s much-deserved promotion as the opposition’s frontbench representative for Indigenous Affairs is a genuine game-changer for the future of Australian politics and the opposition’s prospects. As is Senator James Patterson’s promotion to Home Affairs.

The elevation of these two outstanding performers is a clear stamping of authority by Peter Dutton within his Party room and the Coalition and an indication that he means business—serious business.

In appointing Senator Price, considerations of first termers and not of other people “deserving of a go,” the “over-representation” of the National Party coalition partner in the ministry, and the loss of a Queenslander (with Karen Andrews’ retirement) were all rightly cast aside for one reason—merit.

And then, there was the issue of two ministers being appointed from the Senate rather than the House of Representatives. The appointment of a front bench should always be based on merit. Nothing else should matter.

The Australian people deserve the best possible team. The Australian people wouldn’t accept other considerations for the selection of their national sports teams. Nor should they in politics.

This picture shows the Opera House illuminated in the colours of the Aboriginal flag in Sydney on Australia Day on Jan. 26, 2023. (Robert Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

To have acted so decisively, casting aside petty irrelevant considerations, cements Peter Dutton as a man of action, courage, and commitment. His leadership is focused on outcomes. For him, that is to win the government.

There can be no doubt that the issues de jure for the Australian people and the federal government, apart from the cost of living issues, will be The Voice referendum and national security, with the ongoing cyberattacks and threatening posturing by the Beijing communist dictatorship. The standouts for those two areas of responsibility are Senators Price and Patterson.

Price the Winning Factor?

Whilst national security will be a constant issue, the campaign for The Voice has a greater sense of immediacy given its pending referendum later this year.

Effective opposition to The Voice is vitally important if the principles on which government in Australia is to be undertaken in the future are to be preserved. This excludes the practical consequences that will see The Voice needing to be consulted over every executive decision, presumably including regulations that not even the backbench is afforded.

This special treatment based on race will not be welcomed by Australians, and Senator Price is the one to remind them of this.

As support for The Voice is stalling, with a strong NO vote overtaking the strong YES vote for the first time, Peter Dutton’s determination to see off The Voice can be easily witnessed by the appointment of the articulate and presentable Senator Price.

She brings with her the determining features of lived experience and a genuine heart for her people in the regions where the disparity of outcomes is the most obvious amongst Australia’s Aboriginal communities.

Epoch Times Photo
Country Liberal Party senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and 22 Indigenous community leaders at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on March 22, 2023. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

While some misdirected commentators suggest the overwhelming opposition to The Voice within the Coalition is at least in part due to the strength of the Queenslanders in the Party room, they overlook the glaring fact that Queenslanders, along with Senator Price, see the day-to-day issues and have been able to convince their colleagues, if they needed convincing.

A strong opponent of The Voice is Queensland MP for Herbert, Phillip Thompson OAM.

Thompson’s regional seat of Townsville has a high proportion of Indigenous electors. He is married to an Indigenous lady.

His assessment is that not only is The Voice wrong in principle, but that it is vehemently opposed on the ground by the Indigenous communities in his electorate.

The inner-city electorates are more likely to be convinced by feel-good rhetoric in the absence of lived experience and a comprehensive understanding of what is actually needed.

Giving expression to those practical, powerful and persuasive sentiments will be Senator Price, who has already established herself as fearless, articulate, and measured—qualities missing thus far in the government’s advocacy.

Mere sentiment will not be enough to overcome the flaws in the design and the model, which are even acknowledged by Julian Leeser, who resigned over his support of The Voice from the Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

Ironically Leeser’s resignation paved the way for Price’s appointment. The consequences of this act alone may well have unwittingly guaranteed the defeat of The Voice.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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