Incoming Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney has warned there is significant work ahead to build a consensus on the Indigenous voice before a referendum can be held on enshrining it in the Constitution. Source: The Australian.
Campaigners for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for a constitutionally enshrined voice were jubilant when Anthony Albanese confirmed his commitment to a referendum on the subject during his victory speech on Saturday night.
While Ms Burney has already begun the work of making good on Labor’s commitment, she says she will not be rushed on the issue.
Ms Burney said Mr Albanese had expressed a desire to have a referendum during his first term and that two dates had been suggested by campaigners
Ms Burney said it was her job to attempt to bring people together and to inspire the Australian community. She considered this to be a nation-building exercise “that will have everyone invested because at some point they are going to have to make a decision about whether to vote yes or no”.
To win over Australians who were either undecided or opposed, she said she wanted to begin with a series of public events and town hall meetings like those held by the Keating government before it passed the historic Native Title Act in 1993.
At those events, the Reconciliation Council was involved, and Ms Burney predicted Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations would play a role in helping Australians prepare to make their choice.
Indigenous voice referendum can’t be rushed: Linda Burney (by Paige Taylor, The Australian)