The Albanian government is making indigenous people’s voices in parliament one of its top priorities, with a nationwide vote on amending the constitution possible as early as August.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, told The Sydney Morning Herald the government plans to introduce legislation in March to set up the referendum.
Ms Burney said the “yes” campaign is likely to start at the end of February.
“Once that’s all mobilized, I think we’ll have a country ready for change,” she said.
Ms Burney said the legislation will be examined by a parliamentary committee once it is introduced.
The government will aim to pass the legislation through parliament in May, potentially allowing for a vote as early as August or even November.
Simple ‘yes or no’
Last year, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the draft question for voters would be, “Do you support an amendment to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vote?”
Mr Albanese has reiterated his view that the question of whether a vote should be enshrined in the constitution should be a “simple” yes or no referendum.
The Nationals have announced they will not support the referendum despite a split within the party, with Calare MP Andrew Gee breaking away as an independent to support the campaign.
The Liberals led by Peter Dutton have not yet taken a position on the referendum, with the opposition leader repeatedly calling on the government to release more details about what form the Voice will take.