The Headlines: Why Support for a First Nations Voice to Parliament Has Been Declining

New Voice to Parliament Polling Has Dropped

From the Heart, a First Nations organisation, launched its official “Yes” campaign last night. This grassroots community wants an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and is fighting to make one happen. However, some new Voice to Parliament polling has indicated that these campaigners could have a long road ahead of them. 

In February, Resolve Political Monitor asked 1060 individuals if they support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. According to this Voice to Parliament polling, 46% of the respondents said yes, 32% said no, and 21% are undecided. 

Moreover, a lot of folks want some additional details about the Federal Government’s proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament. A whopping 63% of respondents said that they would like more information on this topic than is currently available.

Now, let’s take a quick step back from this Voice to Parliament polling, for the moment. Cause it’s worth stating that there’s a mountain of info about the Voice that’s already available. However, whether or not the public is receiving this info, well, that’s another story. 

If you’re curious, the Co-Chair of the Uluṟu Dialogue and proud Cobble Cobble woman, Professor Megan Davis, provided The Latch with a pretty simple explanation of what a Voice would do. 

“We want to reinforce that the Voice will not be a third chamber of Parliament,” said Davis. “We have addressed this many times since the Turnbull Government first made the claim back in 2017. The Voice will advise our government of the day on matters concerning the lives of First Nations Peoples. It will not have any hidden powers or veto abilities.”

Moreover, this won’t be the last Voice to Parliament polling to take place. There is plenty of time From the Heart to gain some ground. As it currently stands, the Voice vote will happen between October and December.  

Why Queensland Is Transforming Its Drug Laws

Warning: This section deals with the topic of substance abuse and may be triggering for some readers.

In Queensland, people caught carrying a small amount of illegal drugs for the first time will no longer be criminally prosecuted. Instead, anyone in the state carrying drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or ice will receive three warnings before getting charged. 

This change is taking place so that Queensland’s police can spend more resources hunting down drug traffickers.

As Queensland’s Police Minister, Mark Ryan, said, “It’s an approach that relieves the pressure on our criminal justice system and allows our police to focus their attention on people that profit on the suffering of others by producing, supplying, and trafficking dangerous drugs.”

“The government has listened to the evidence and the experts.”

So, what will now happen to those who are caught with a small amount of drugs? Well, those early offenders could be asked to attend drug diversion assessment programs.

“A drug diversion assessment program provides drug users with tailored education and counselling, and where appropriate, the person is connected with further treatment,” said Ryan. “It is a successful program, and we know the majority of people who are diverted from the criminal justice system for possession of cannabis are not dealt with by the police ever again.”

If this section brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if drugs or alcohol are becoming a problem, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14) or download Sobriety App – I am Sober, an addiction buddy useful for quitting any activity or substance.

Related: ACT Government Decriminalises Drug Use

Related: How Australia’s First Government Pill Testing Service Actually Works

A Zero Emissions Electric Aircraft Has Landed

An aerospace company called AMSL Aero has successfully created, flown, and landed a new electric aircraft. This aircraft of theirs is called Vertiia, and it’s an Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle. An eVTOL is an aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane.

Understandably, the Co-Founder of AMSL Aero, Siobhan Lyndon, is hyped about her team’s invention.

“Unlike aeromedical aeroplanes that require a runway, Vertiia will carry patients directly from any location straight to the hospital, significantly reducing the complexity and time often required to transport vulnerable patients,” said Lyndon. “It will also be quieter and safer than helicopters and will eventually cost as little as a car to maintain and run, transforming aeromedical transport into a far more affordable, accessible, safer, and reliable option.”

Nevertheless, it will probably be a long time until such a future becomes a reality. This is because Vertiia’s first flight was both tethered and done by remote control.

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