In Australia, prime minister announces 14 October referendum date for establishing Indigenous peoples advisory body

By Praveen Menon, 31 August 2023
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (photo credit: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (photo credit: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Australians will vote on October 14 on whether they want to change the constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait island people, a defining moment in the struggle for Indigenous rights in the country. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the date for the landmark referendum in Adelaide on [30 Ausgust], describing it as a once-in-a-generation chance to unite the nation. [...] Australians will now face a six-week campaign before voting in the referendum, where they would be asked whether they support altering the constitution to include a "Voice to Parliament", an Indigenous committee to advise federal parliament on matters affecting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. Any change to Australia's constitution requires a national referendum. [...] But public debate on the issue has been divisive, and support for the proposal has dipped in recent months, according to opinion polls. Backers argue voting yes will help mend fraught ties with the Aboriginal community and unite the nation, and the advisory body will help prioritise Indigenous health, education, employment and housing. Some opponents, however, argue the move would divide Australians along racial lines and hand excessive power to the Indigenous body. Others have described the Voice as a symbolic and toothless body.
Read the full article here: Reuters


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