Wyatt remains careful on referendum

Colin Brinsden
·1-min read

Federal Indigenous Minister Ken Wyatt continues to tread carefully on constitutional recognition of Australia's first people and an Indigenous voice in parliament.

Mr Wyatt told the ABC television's Insider program it was about having the right words.

"If you fail on a question for constitutional referendum, it is never resurrected," he said.

"We only have to look at eight (referendums) have been successful against 42 attempts. I don't want this to fail."

Mr Wyatt said it was his aspiration to legislate for there to be a "voice" and passed through the parliament before the next election.

Labor's Indigenous spokeswoman Linda Burney said it would be a step, but only a step, in the right direction.

"It can only be a step because the Uluru Statement is very clear on what the aspirations are," she told Insiders.

She said the government and the prime minister still has the opportunity to leave one of the most astounding legacies any prime minister could.

"I can't understand why he is being so stubborn," she said.

"Just this week in NAIDOC Week we saw the government introduce a permanency bill around the cashless debit card and we saw them vote down the display of the Aboriginal flags in the Senate. Unbelievable in NAIDOC Week."