State Indigenous voice model to help guide referendum
The key working group behind the push for an Indigenous voice to the national parliament will seek to learn lessons from the South Australian model.
SA Deputy Premier Susan Close and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher will address the referendum working group, which is holding its final meeting in Adelaide on Thursday before handing over advice to the Albanese government.
The South Australian government is hoping to pass the legislation by Easter and have the consultative body up and running ahead of the national referendum, which is slated for the end of the year.
Federal Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney says she hopes to hear about what lessons can be learned from the South Australian First Nations voice.
"We want to build on the strengths of the South Australian model and make sure Indigenous communities have their voices heard," she told AAP.
Mr Maher said he looked forward to explaining how the SA voice would work and how it might feed in and support a national voice.
Legislation setting up the possible constitutional change will be introduced to federal parliament by the end of the month.
Labor is aiming to secure cross-party support for the referendum bill, to ensure it has the best chance of success when put to voters.
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley, who is visiting the Northern Territory, said the voices of Indigenous people in towns such as Alice Springs needed to be heard and listened to by the government.
"What we will see on the ground, and what we will learn from listening to the people, to the agencies, to the providers of services that are so important, but most importantly from the families themselves, will be vital," she said.
The Liberal Party has not announced a formal position on the voice, with leaders calling for more detail on the proposed model.
SA Liberal senator Kerrynne Liddle, who grew up in Alice Springs, said the government needed to focus on changing the situation on the ground.
"You don't need a voice to act on these issues. You need integrated service delivery and people to actually do the jobs that they're paid to do," she said standing alongside the deputy leader.
Senator Liddle said the implementation of a needs-based funding model would improve the situation after reports of a family near the town living in squalor.
"They have been living on a concrete slab within a short walking distance of Alice Springs for two years, with nine children, with people there with medical issues requiring significant intervention," she said.
"Yet they remained on a concrete slab, no water, no toilet sanitation, no shelter in the middle of Alice Springs.
"Those people not only shouldn't have been on that slab, but should have been removed from that slab three weeks ago when the Australian public became aware of that issue."