Bureaucrats "spend more money on airfares" than delivering programs in Indigenous communities, according to the Voice to Parliament co-designers. Leading advocates spoke to a Joint Select Committee on the Voice Referendum about the importance of enshrining a Voice into the nation's constitution. The first of the committee hearings was held in Canberra, looking into the Constitution Alteration Bill to determine the final referendum wording and constitutional amendments for a Voice to Parliament. Chancellor of the University of Canberra Professor Tom Calma fronted the committee alongside Voice co-designer Marcia Langton, speaking about the high turnover of bureaucrats in Indigenous communities. Professor Calma cited his frustration on the amount of bureaucratic spending such as flights, housing and vehicles "that's all pulled together as Indigenous expenditure". "And so the real money doesn't hit the ground for Indigenous produce. You see bandied around all the time X amount of billions of dollars are spent on Indigenous affairs," Professor Calma said "Well, let's get real on some of this stuff and work out how much is actually going into the projects." He pointed to organisations that were formed under one government and then disbanded by following governments, leaving communities at "behest of the government of the day". "And why this one is so important, is that [a Voice] is constitutionally enshrined," he said. "The Voice can provide that level of guidance to the Parliament and also to the bureaucracy on how to make much more efficient and effective delivery services." READ MORE: Professor Langton spoke about the frustration from people she had heard from in her regional consultation sessions about the levels of bureaucracy in Aboriginal communities. She said they would come into a community, ask questions that have been asked "1000 times before" and then leave, so community leaders must "start all over again". "And what's the guarantee that they ever hear what Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people have to say to them?" she said. The leading academic said there were few systems of transparency and accountability, or ways to monitor the outcomes of how money was being spent in these communities. "Bureaucracy probably spends more money on airfares and their time, than in any of the communities that they consulting," Professor Langton said. "And they fly in .... and then they fly out and then [communities] never hear anything again. "And so again, and again and again, [communities] are raising urgent issues like housing or clinic issues, asbestos in buildings, and so on." She said a Voice would result in better productivity and methods for communicating clear priorities directly to parliaments instead of "wasting all of this money and time" on fly-in-fly-out bureaucrats. "So I think that most Australians will agree that we deserve better than this, and who better than to work towards improving our situation, then us ourselves," Professor Langton said. "If we don't have a say the situation won't get better. It's just logic." Uluru Statement from the Heart co-chair Pat Anderson echoed these concerns, stating Indigenous people go back to "ground zero" every time there was a new government. "Many of our powerlessness is partly due to bureaucrats. They just do and say what they think is appropriate and follow everything as they're supposed to do. But there's no flexibility there," Ms Anderson said. "We all have to come back to Canberra and justify, explain who we are and often we have to bring a map to show where we're coming from."