Australia Promises National Vote on Recognition of Indigenous People by 2022

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2019

Post Minister Wyatt'saddress, NACCHO Chief Executive Officer, Ms Patricia Turner AM said, "Wewelcome Minister Wyatt's call to all Australians to join him on the journey toconstitutional recognition of Australia's First Nations peoples and support thecreation of a voice for Indigenous Australians to influence the AustralianParliament".

"We all know how hard it is to achieve referendum change in Australia on any subject", opposition shadow minister for indigenous Australians Linda Burney, who is also Aboriginal, told national broadcaster ABC.

In 2017, indigenous leaders proposed establishing an advisory body made up of elected indigenous Australians, but the government rejected the proposal, claiming it would create a de facto third chamber in parliament.

"It never was a third chamber", he told the The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It is about people, communities wanting to be heard".

Speaking at the National Press Club today for NAIDOC Week, Minister Wyatt said he plans to develop a "consensus option for constitutional recognition" to put forward in a referendum during the 46 Parliament's term.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reportedly veto any move to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution.

Mr Morrison's constitutional view has not changed but he would consider a legislated national body comprising existing indigenous groups, The Australian reports.

"If we fail in any recognition in the constitution then we have a problem, because it won't be resurrected for a period of time", Mr Wyatt told ABC Radio National.

"Sometimes we can aspire to an optimum outcome but we also have to accept that there is a pragmatic element to (a) constitutional referendum and I would rather us in the psyche of this nation have a win on a referendum than to have a loss".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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