Australia to hold Aboriginal constitutional recognition referendum ‘within 3 years’

Australia vows vote on recognition of indigenous people by 2022

Australia vows vote on recognition of indigenous people by 2022

The National AboriginalCommunity Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) supports the pledge today bythe Coalition Government to hold a national referendum on constitutional changeto recognise Indigenous voices in the constitution.

Senior minister Peter Dutton indicated on Friday that the government would pursue symbolic-only recognition in the constitution.

Any referendum question must be supported by the majority of Australian voters, as well as at least four out of six states.

Today's address comes six weeks after the Perth MP became the first Aboriginal person to have ministerial stewardship of indigenous affairs.

Kelly's intervention followed Wyatt using a major Naidoc week speech delivered at the National Press Club to put constitutional recognition back on the agenda after the election.

Conservative government MPs are resisting the creation of an indigenous voice to parliament.

NACCHO represents over 6,000 ACCHO staff - of which 3,500 areIndigenous - and is the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderpeople in Australia.

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"I hope that this change happens during this parliament and I have offered to work constructively with Prime Minister Morrison", he said.

News Corp Australia reported on Friday that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will veto any move to enshrine an indigenous "voice to parliament" in the constitution.

Mr Wyatt said on Wednesday that all options were on the table, but on Friday he described the voice to parliament as "problematic".

Minister Wyatt has previously told NIT he wishes to explore all avenues to constitutional recognition, not just the Uluru Statement.

He acknowledged that position would disappoint some people that have been campaigning for substantive change.

Kelly told Guardian Australia the government would be better placed working on practical matters, such as closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and addressing high youth suicide rates, rather than contemplating "a separate body with people voting for people based on race". "Reconciliation Australia had about a 12 per cent rusted-on group who said absolutely no, but the rest of Australians - and what I love about our country is this "fair go" concept that has prevailed - people believe that we need to right wrongs".

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