Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has flagged changing the draft constitutional amendment for a Voice to Parliament so it cannot make representations to executive government. Source: The Australian.
Mr Albanese told the National Press Club yesterday that he was not being prescriptive about his proposed change to the Constitution, which says the Voice “may make representations to Parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples” and wanted to bring as many people as possible on the “journey” to constitutional recognition.
Removing “executive government” from the constitutional amendment could appease those who want the Voice to succeed but who argue that particular reference will open it up to legal challenges and add confusion to the referendum.
It was also interpreted by a member of the Government’s referendum working group, who did not want to be named, as an important signal to Peter Dutton that the Prime Minister was willing to make concessions to get the Liberal Party on side.
Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer Fr Frank Brennan said he was “heartened” by Mr Albanese’s comments and “an increased openness to having those words (in the constitutional amendment) closely scrutinised”.
He said it should be a Voice to Parliament “full stop” and not a Voice to Parliament and executive government.
“I’m strongly of the view that, of course, as Aboriginal leaders like Noel Pearson have said, we want a place at the table in dealing with executive government. My only issue is that that should be done by the Parliament and not through the Constitution,” Fr Brennan told Sky News.
Anthony Albanese open to concessions on Voice to Parliament (By Rosie Lewis, The Australian)