Aussies could be voting on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament as soon as August according to Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Burney also laid out a draft timeline for the “yes” campaign. Exciting times!
Burney told the newspaper she expects the government’s campaign to get underway in late February. Referendum legislation will then be introduced to parliament in March and debated for six or so weeks while the deets are ironed out.
“Once that all mobilises, I think we’re going to have a country that’s ready for change,” she said.
So what will the “yes” campaign look like?
Well, since the referendum will seek to win over a majority of Australia’s voting population, Burney wants it to be as inclusive and far-reaching as possible.
The so-called “alliance” model will seek to bring together not only Indigenous organisations such as the Uluru Dialogue and From the Heart organisations, but also aims to reach across the aisle to the more conservative side of politics.
Burney wants to engage the Uphold and Recognise organisation, a conservative group seeking constitutional recognition for First Nations people, as well as Peter Dutton and the broader Liberal Party.
But hang on a second, surely an ultra-conservative like Peter Dutton wouldn’t get behind the Indigenous voice to Parliament?
Well, there is actually a chance he might.
Burney told the SMH she’s “hopeful” of his support and after a disastrous result at the 2022 federal election, Dutton may be looking to win back some of the Liberal Party’s more centrist supporters lost to socially progressive teal independents.
“I hope that what Peter Dutton ends up doing is [finding] a constructive way forward with this debate,” the minister said.
“He has said he’ll make his decision come February. But I just hope that he reflects over summer, just how important it is.”
“I think I have a good relationship with him. I think it’s a very open relationship between [him] and the prime minister.”
Keen for more info? Peep our article on the actual question the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum will pose to Aussies.