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Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum date announced for 14 October

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the long-awaited referendum date.

Photo credit: ABC News

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the upcoming referendum for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament will occur on 14 October.

“You are not being asked to vote for a political party, or for a person. You’re being asked to vote for an idea. To say yes to an idea whose time has come,” the Prime Minister said.

On 14 October all Australians will be asked to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The proposed question was announced on 23 March 2023.

It states: “A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

The Voice would serve as an advisory body to the Federal Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on issues concerning Indigenous peoples. It would not have the ability to pass or veto laws, the Parliament would maintain that power.

The concept of the Voice was proposed by the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a report produced from a series of dialogues between the Referendum Council, appointed by the Turnbull government, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

These First Nations Regional Dialogues occurred between December 2016 and May 2017, with the intention to find a consensus on how to recognise First Nations people in the Constitution.

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