Referendum Council wants Indigenous vote

The Referendum Council members (Referendum Council)

The Turnbull government has been urged to hold a referendum on establishing an Indigenous advisory body to federal parliament, NITV reports.

The former Referendum Council’s final report was released yesterday to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The council said the Voice to Parliament emerged as the "preferred option" in their community consultations. It is the only change to the constitution that the report recommends and that would be taken to a referendum.

The report also called for a separate declaration of recognition, outside of the constitution: "Containing inspiring and unifying words articulating Australia's shared history, heritage and aspirations".

The 183 page document also supported the idea from May's Uluru Convention for a Makarrata Commission, separate to the Voice to Parliament, to supervise the process of agreement making between governments and First Nations, and facilitate truth-telling of First Nations' histories.

Council co-chair Mark Leibler said the proposal for the referendum was designed to be as straight forward as possible.

"Any referendum has to have a simple question ... you couldn't have anything more simple than what we propose," he said.

"The other thing is, there is absolutely zero interference with parliamentary sovereignty ... because this body will have no right of veto, not only that, the parliament itself will define how the body is going to be constituted and how it will operate."

Fellow co-chair Pat Anderson said the report aimed to "reset" the relationship between Indigenous Australia and the rest of the country.

"This report is about redistributing power and resetting our relationship once and for all," she said.

Mr Turnbull said yesterday at the release of the report: "We’re not here to make a decision, the purpose of our meeting is to discuss with you the recommendation made.

"We started the process with five options and we note that [the advice] has not provided a shortlist and while it has considered the work of the expert panel and the select committee, very thorough work, it’s essentially rejected the recommendations of those two groups."


Referendum Council's final report calls for Indigenous voice to parliament (NITV)


Referendum Council wants 'Indigenous voice' (Sky News)

Referendum Council's one recommendation leaves Malcolm Turnbull unsure (The Age)

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