AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Bill Shorten Backs Aboriginal Constitutional Reform

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope August 5, 2017 09:17
MOST POPULAR YOU MAY LIKE

POLITICS HOME: Current Political Article


The Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said: “Labor supports a voice for Aboriginal people in our constitution, we support a declaration by all parliaments, we support a truth-telling commission, we are not confronted by the notion of treaties with our first Australians.”

Continue below with the full current political topic.

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Bill Shorten Backs Aboriginal Constitutional Reform

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has backed a constitutionally-enshrined “Voice to Parliament” representing Indigenous people, marking the first clear commitment by him or Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to the Referendum Council’s central recommendation. In a speech to the Garma Festival in the Northern Territory, also attended by Mr Turnbull and leading Indigenous figures, Mr Shorten expressed support for a “Makarrata” reconciliation commission and repeated the Labor Party’s openness to treaties between Indigenous people and Australian governments.

Mr Turnbull’s more conservative address to the gathering outlined a respect for the Referendum Council’s recommendations but said they would need to be considered properly and reiterated his caution about over-ambitious referendums.

The Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said: “Labor supports a voice for Aboriginal people in our constitution, we support a declaration by all parliaments, we support a truth-telling commission, we are not confronted by the notion of treaties with our first Australians.”

He said “voting for a constitutional voice is our chance to bring our constitution home, to make it better, more equal, more Australian” and “Aboriginal Australians do not need a balanda [white person] lecture about the difficulty of changing the constitution”.

On the eve of the festival, Mr Shorten proposed a bipartisan parliamentary committee to finalise the recommendations, in consultation with Aboriginal voices, with a view to completing a referendum proposal by the end of the year.

His call for another committee has been greeted with scepticism and frustration from Indigenous figures – including former Referendum Council co-chair Pat Anderson and council member Megan Davis – who contend the Parliament should move immediately to propose a referendum question based on the already available work.

Mr Shorten said detail of how a Voice and Makarrata commission would work still needed to be figured out in a parliamentary process. He emphasised a Voice would act as an advisory body on legislation affecting Aboriginal people and not have veto power over legislation.

A Makarrata commission could oversee the creation of treaties and a reconciliation and truth-telling process about wrongs committed against Aboriginal people.

Following his speech, asked about the constitutional conservatives of the Coalition government, Mr Shorten said Labor would not wait for approval from the “right-wing rump” of the Liberal Party before backing big ideas.

The council’s recommendations were handed to parliamentary leaders just over a month ago following the Uluru Statement, which was finalised at a historic gathering of Indigenous representatives in May and also proposed a “First Nations Voice”.

Mr Turnbull told the festival: “I respect deeply the work of the Referendum Council and all of those who contributed to it. And I respect it by considering it very carefully.”

He said many important questions about the proposals still needed to be answered and noted that, until recently, referendum discussions had focused on removing the constitution’s race powers and recognising Indigenous people in the document.

“However, the Referendum Council has told us a Voice to Parliament is the only option they advise us to put to the Australian people. We have heard this and we will work with you to find a way forward.”

The Prime Minister warned that voters are constitutionally conservative and said a proposal must be clear, simple, backed by Indigenous people and broadly popular among Australians overall to be successful.

In a press conference following his speech, Mr Turnbull said cabinet would consider the recommendations shortly and suggested Mr Shorten’s timeline of a referendum proposal by the end of the year was overly ambitious.

– s m h



Readers Who Read this Article Also Read



Up Next on Politicoscope

Share this Article: "AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Bill Shorten Backs Aboriginal Constitutional Reform"



Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online Today


Politicoscope
By Politicoscope August 5, 2017 09:17
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00



What's on Your Mind?