Indigenous Australians call for a referendum

Indigenous Australians are asking the main political parties to commit to holding a referendum, to give First Nations people a greater voice in the country’s parliamentary system.

They want to give First Nations people a greater voice in the country’s parliamentary system.

The proposal would see the country vote on whether it should formally recognise Australia’s first people in the Constitution. 

The ABC’s Vote Compass data found that overall 73 per cent of Australians agree “strongly” or “somewhat” that there should be a constitutional change to give Indigenous Australians a greater voice.

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Overall support has also increased, in 2019, the last time Australia had a federal election, that figure was 64 per cent.

Australia’s Constitution can only be changed with a nationwide vote, and it’s not entirely clear currently what a “Voice to Parliament” would look like.

1News spoke to Paul Wright, the National Director for Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR).

He said First Nations people have been ignored for too long.

“We need our politicians, and the next government, whoever forms government in the 46th Parliament of Australia to get on board and make this happen.”

What are the two main players promising?

The Coalition says it “remains committed” to holding a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution. However, that’s only when there’s “a consensus on the way forward and at a time it has the best chance of success."

ANTaR has rated this promise with a ‘thumbs down', saying it “isn’t going to get it done”.

Meanwhile, Labor says it’ll commit to a referendum as a “matter of priority”, with Anthony Albanese signalling he’d want it held on the 26th of January in a future year, as a “unifying moment”.