Roundup: Australians in favour of constitutional recognition for indigenous people: poll

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 12, 2019
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CANBERRA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- A majority of Australians are in favour of recognizing the nation's indigenous people in the constitution.

A poll released by Essential found that 70 percent of 1,097 respondents supported constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with 18 percent opposed and 12 percent undecided.

Ken Wyatt, the minister for Indigenous Australians, on Wednesday announced that the government will hold a referendum on recognition within three years.

News Corp Australia reported on Friday that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will veto any move to enshrine an indigenous "voice to parliament" in the constitution.

The voice, which would advise the government on issues relating to the indigenous population, was first proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart - a historic 2017 document that was signed off by indigenous leaders.

Wyatt told News Corp on Thursday that indigenous people could have "multiple voices" to parliament.

"I think most people I talk to are not asking for the voice to be enshrined in the constitution," he said.

"We've got to consider the range of ways in which the voice has meaning. We have to focus on what the pragmatic realities are that are going to make a difference to the lives of indigenous Australians."

Pat Dodson, a senator of the opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) and one of the foremost voices calling for a referendum, said that despite the government's position his own party should not waver in its full commitment to the Uluru Statement.

"People at Uluru wanted some kind of permanency and stability in the entity that gets to represent their views to the parliament," Dodson said.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Thursday declared that a successful referendum on recognition was "realistic and doable."

"I hope that this change happens during this parliament and I have offered to work constructively with Prime Minister Morrison," he said.

"That's the commitment from Labor to make sure that we get an outcome, not just any outcome, an outcome that has the support of indigenous Australians."

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday revealed that Australia's indigenous population is on track to reach 1 million by 2028.

It said that the indigenous population is expected to grow by 2 percent per year through 2031 compared to the general population's growth rate of 1.5 percent. Enditem

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