The prime minister is in full swing with his campaign for an indigenous vote to parliament by accusing his opponents of “trying to start a culture war”.
In a speech on Sunday, Anthony Albanese will urge Australians to support a referendum to enshrine the voice in the Australian constitution.
Will appeals to people’s “generosity, sense of fairness, and optimism,” while saying he is “open to improvements or adjustments” to the proposed changes.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured with partner Judy Haydon) walks to the front in his campaign for the Indigenous voice in Parliament
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton (pictured left with his wife Kerelli) recently wrote a 15-question letter to Mr Albanese, asking for more clarification on the Voice in Parliament programme.
Australians will vote in a referendum in the second half of this year on whether the constitution should be amended to create a body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advise federal parliament on policies affecting them.
Liberal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton recently wrote a 15-question letter to Mr Albanese, seeking further clarification about the vote to parliament, after attending the Referendum Working Group on Thursday.
A Liberal Party spokesperson said: “Australians deserve to be informed before they vote in a referendum.”
Mr Albanese will use his rhetoric to claim democracy is under threat, saying Australia should learn from events such as the January 6, 2021 US Capitol attack and the January 8, 2023 riots in Brazil.
Democracy can never be taken for granted. He must be fed, protected, nurtured and treated with respect.
“The Referendum Working Group has already identified some obvious fundamentals,” Mr Albanese will tell the audience at the Chifley think tank in Canberra.
The Voice will not manage the financing. Programs will not be submitted. She will not have any kind of veto over the decision.
Mr Albanese will address criticism that the proposed provisions are vague by contrasting them with Parliament’s powers to make laws on the defense of the country, as set out in the Constitution.
“It doesn’t say how big the ADF should be, where it should be located or what kind of defense equipment we should get,” he will say.
“And also—this section of the Constitution doesn’t even mention air power, for the very good reason that it became law before the first powered flight.”
Anthony Albanese on Sunday will compare some of the dissenting sound to the January 6, 2021 riots in Washington, D.C. Pictured are supporters of former US President Donald Trump in Washington that day
The authors of Federation Australia will argue that it is up to the government, Parliament and the people to “deal with the details and implement through legislation”.
The constitution contains the power and then Parliament uses its democratic power to build and renew the institution as needed.
“In this year’s referendum – Australians will vote on this principle.”
His comments follow mounting criticism of the proposal, including calls for clarification of details before a referendum is considered.
Shadow Attorney General Julien Lesser urged the federal government to deal with the “reasonable questions” Dutton raised about The Voice.
Pictured are supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as they clash with security forces during the invasion of the presidential palace in Brasilia on January 8, 2023. Anthony Albanese will say on Sunday that Australia should learn from what happened in Brazil
Mr. Albanese will tell his audience on Sunday that some opponents have been spreading misinformation about The Voice online.
He will say, “This is an inevitable consequence of trying to bring about change.”
There are always those who want to create confusion and division, to try to obstruct progress.
But moments of national decision, like this referendum, are also an opportunity for our people to show their best qualities: their generosity, their sense of justice, and their optimism for the future.
“That is why I am optimistic about the success of the referendum – because I have always been optimistic about the character of the Australian people.”
A recent nine-newspaper poll showed support for Australians to have an Aboriginal voice heard in Parliament fell from 53 to 47 per cent.