Albanese’s Laid Out A Draft Question For The Referendum On A First Nations Voice To Parliament

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has revealed a potential draft question for a referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the Constitution.

Albanese’s expected to announce it in a speech at the Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land on Saturday.

In his speech, he will suggest a potential draft referendum question.

It would be something like: “Do you support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?”

He’ll also break down draft versions of the three sentences that would be added to the Constitution if the referendum succeeds, per the ABC.

  1. There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
  2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to Parliament and the Executive Government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  3. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

“These draft provisions can be seen as the next step in the discussion about constitutional change,” Albanese is expected to say.

The reason a Voice to Parliament needs to be enshrined through referendum is because it means altering the Constitution. In Aus, you can only change the Constitution via a referendum vote.

A Voice to Parliament would mean Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can advise the Parliament on policies and projects that affect them.

It’s something First Nations people have been calling for for decades. And back in May, the Uluru Statement from the Heart released a huge campaign seeking a referendum on the Voice.

Before the election, Labor promised to implement the Uluru Statement in full and Anthony Albanese also mentioned it in his election victory speech.

“Together we can embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” he said at the time.

“We can answer its patient, gracious call for a Voice enshrined in our constitution.”

At the Garma Festival, Albanese will “ask all Australians of goodwill to engage on this” according to a draft of his speech.

“Respectfully, purposefully we are seeking to secure support for the question and the associated provisions in time for a successful referendum, in this term of parliament,” he will say, per The Conversation.

“This is a reform I believe every Australian can embrace, from all walks of life, in every part of the country, from every faith and background and tradition.”

This the closest we’ve been to actually holding the referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament. Fucking finally.