Differing Indigenous views on Voice: PM

·2-min read

The prime minister says he wants to give voters the space needed to consider whether to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to parliament in the constitution.

While Anthony Albanese said there was a large amount of detail surrounding how the Voice would work, he wanted to ensure a national discussion about the body to ensure a referendum would be successful.

"What I want to do is give people the space to walk on this journey," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"I wanted to give people the space to consider the question that has been put out, and the three-point constitutional change which is proposed."

The prime minister acknowledged there would be differing views within the Indigenous community for the Voice to be enacted.

However, he said he was confident of the referendum's success, indicating he had outlined a framework to move the debate forward.

"Inevitably, as part of that debate, there will be discussion ... about what a Voice might look like," he said.

"I welcome that debate will occur."

The prime minister last weekend outlined the potential question that would be asked in a referendum to enshrine the Indigenous Voice in the constitution.

A potential question to be asked in the referendum would be: "Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?"

While the government has previously said the process for the referendum would not be rushed, it's expected the vote would take place next year.

Mr Albanese said the Voice would be an opportunity for national unity.

"It's a generous and gracious offer to non-Indigenous Australians to walk with (Indigenous people) going forward. It is something that I am strongly supportive of," he said.

"If we achieve that, it will be a very positive moment for the nation. And that is what I am very much focused on."

The Uluru Statement also called for a Makarrata commission that would oversee a process of treaty and truth telling.

However, Mr Albanese said it would be unlikely that part of the statement would be achieved during the current parliamentary term.

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