The proposed question:
“Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?”
Proposed sentences added to the constitution:
Labor - Federal and state party position is supportive of the “Voice”.
Liberal - Federal party yet to finalise position, has requested further detail before committing a stance. Dominic Perrottett has indicated the NSW state government is supportive of the “Voice”.
Nationals - Federal and state party position is against the “Voice”.
Greens - Federal and state party position is supportive of the “Voice”. Senator Lydia Thorpe has been critical of “the Voice” claiming a treaty should be prioritised first. Thorpe is also concerned that “the Voice” would cede indigenous sovereignty.
Teal independents - Crossbench MPs were briefed on the “Voice” by the government in December. Teal independents support the “Voice”, with Member for Warringah Zali Steggall claiming that teals will have a “competition” to see which of their seats will get the most yes votes.
One Nation - Federal and state party position is against the “Voice”
United Australia Party - Federal and state party position is against the “Voice”.
1. Who will be eligible to serve on the body?
2. What are the prerequisites for nomination?
3. Will the Government clarify the definition of Aboriginality to determine who can serve on the body?
4. How will members be elected, chosen or appointed?
5. How many people will make up the body?
6. How much will it cost taxpayers annually?
7. What are its functions and powers?
8. Is it purely advisory or will it have decision-making capabilities?
9. Who will oversee the body and ensure it is accountable?
10. If needed, can the body be dissolved and reconstituted in extraordinary circumstances?
11. How will the Government ensure that the body includes those who still need to get a platform in Australian public life?
12. How will it interact with the Closing of the Gap process?
13. Will the Government rule out using the Voice to negotiate any national treaty?
14. Will the Government commit to Local and Regional Voices, as recommended in the report on the co-design process led by Tom Calma and Marcia Langton?
15. If not, how will it effectively address the real issues that impact people's lives daily on the ground in the community?
In Australia, a referendum is a compulsory vote by citizens over the age of 18 on a specific question or proposal put forward by the government. The process for a referendum typically involves the following steps:
There have been 44 referenda since federation. Only eight referenda have been successful, the last being in 1977.
The last referendum was held in 1999 on an Australian Republic. Since federation, there have been three plebiscites and one postal survey, the most recent of which was on same-sex marriage in 2017.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a document that was created and presented by Indigenous leaders in Australia in 2017. The statement calls for the recognition of Indigenous Australians as the first peoples of the country and for the establishment of a constitutionally-enshrined First Nations Voice to the Parliament.
The statement was developed through a process of consultations with Indigenous communities and leaders across Australia, and it reflects the collective aspirations of Indigenous Australians for greater self-determination and a more meaningful role in the political and decision-making processes of the country.
The statement also calls for a Makarrata Commission to be established, which would oversee a process of agreement-making and truth-telling between Indigenous peoples and the government. Effectively a treaty between indigenous people and the government.
The statement was presented to the Coalition government in 2017. The government’s response to the statement was that the Indigenous Voice to Parliament would not be included in the Constitution, but the government would consider other ways to give Indigenous Australians a greater say in the political process. Since taking office, the Labor government has changed course, now supportive of the “Voice”.
It's worth noting that the statement was widely supported by Indigenous Australians, but it has been met with mixed reactions from the broader community and political leaders.
Mentions of an “Indigenous Voice to Parliament” by Australian federal MPs in the last 12 months.
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