Prime Minister proposes draft referendum question and constitutional amendments

News Article

In his address to the Garma Festival on 30 July 2022, the Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, proposed a referendum question and constitutional amendments, as the next step in the discussion about constitutional change. 

Our starting point is a recommendation to add three sentences to the Constitution, in recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the First Peoples of Australia:

  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.

This may not be the final form of words – but I think it’s how we can get to a final form of words.

In the same way, alongside these provisions, I would like us to present the Australian people with the clearest possible referendum question. We should consider asking our fellow Australians something as simple, but something as clear, as this:

Do you support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?

Read the Prime Minister’s full Garma address.