Australia finilizes wording of Indigenous Voice referendum

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CANBERRA(Dr.Majid Khan/AP):The Australian government released a referendum question that promises to give the country’s indigenous peoples a greater say in policies that affect their lives.

Australians will vote between October and December on a constitutional amendment to create a new organization called Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voices. The Voice will be an elected group tasked with representing the interests of Indigenous peoples, but will not vote on the law.

An emotional Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the bodies were needed to overcome the disadvantage faced by indigenous peoples.

“We desperately need better results because the current state of affairs in 2023 is not enough,” Albanese told reporters. The wording of the referendum question approved by the cabinet on Thursday is similar to the wording Albanians proposed last year.

Here’s the problem:
“Legislative Proposal:
Amend the constitution to recognize Australia’s first peoples by establishing a voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Do you agree with this proposed change?

If the referendum is successful, the Constitution states that “they will have a voice before Parliament and Government on issues affecting Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.”

Most of the details of the composition and functioning of the vote are left to Congress.

Polls show most Australians support the concept of voice, which the Albanians announced in their victory speech on election night last May as one of the center-left Labor government’s top priorities. suggests that However, deep divisions remain in Australian society. Opposition leader Peter Dutton said the conservative Liberals had yet to decide whether to support the vote and needed more details, including legal advice from the government itself.

Dutton wondered if the voices would help Indigenous women and children, who suffer domestic violence far more often than the wider community. He suggested that it might even drown out.

“Does that make it harder because there is another bureaucracy that makes it harder for Indigenous women in these communities to be heard?” Dutton asked.

The National Party, a junior coalition partner of the previous government, announced in November that it had decided to oppose Beuys, saying it divided the country on race. The government has not disclosed what format it will propose for Voice. But the Cabinet agreed on a number of principles on Thursday.


Its members are elected by indigenous peoples and will serve fixed terms. Members are drawn from across the Australian states and territories, and the Torres Strait Islands, and include select representatives from remote areas.

Genders are equally represented and include Indigenous youth. The Cabinet clarifies that Boyce has no veto power, refuting claims that constitutional amendments could challenge unpopular laws in court.

Changing the Australian Constitution has never been easy. Of her 44 referendums held since 1901, only eight have been held for her and none since 1977 for him.

A bill outlining the issue and constitutional amendments will be presented to Congress next week for a vote in June.

Even dissenting lawmakers are unlikely to anger voters by interfering with the referendum. Australia is unusual among the former British colonies in that it has never entered into treaties with the country’s indigenous peoples. The constitution came into force in her 1901 and has never recognized indigenous peoples as the original inhabitants of the country.

Many people talk about Australia’s great silence. It is a term coined at the end of the last century to describe the erasure of Aboriginal perspectives and experiences from mainstream Australian history.