Australia passes Indigenous voice referendum bill

Before Australia’s first referendum in 24 years, which will take place in 2023, the federal parliament approved a bill that will change the constitution and make it possible for Indigenous people to have their voices heard.

On Monday, the bill was approved by the Senate with a vote count of 52 to 19, confirming the language of the proposed constitutional amendment posed to the people of Australia. The lower chamber of the legislature approved the proposed legislation one month ago.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, said, “I say to my fellow Australians: parliaments pass laws, but it is people who make history.”

“Now is your moment, this is your opportunity, and this is your window of possibility to make history.

“It will be a time for our country to come together and an opportunity to make our nation even greater.”

Michaelia Cash, the shadow attorney general, gave a speech at the very last minute in which she voiced her opposition to the proposed Indigenous consultation group and asserted that the proposal would lead to the opening of “a legal can of worms.”

The Senate met from Friday morning until 4:00 a.m. on Saturday to provide time for speeches and debate on the bill. The government did not agree to include any proposed revisions in the final text.

The assistant minister for Indigenous Australians, Malarndirri McCarthy, stated that it was a significant turning point in the history of Australia.

“Members of the First Nations are eager for this to take place. They are reaching out to all Australians hoping that we may all be proud of this moment in our nation’s history, in which we can support and encourage one another. McCarthy said that before the vote was taken in the Senate.

Dorinda Cox, the spokesperson for the Green Party’s First Nations caucus, referred to Monday as “a historic day” after the bill was successfully passed.

Indigenous Australians minister Linda Burney, attorney general Mark Dreyfus, and climate change Minister Chris Bowen are all lower house members. However, they all sat in the Senate to observe the vote when the bill was passed.

About her opposition to the voice, which she referred to as “fake, pretend, and a joke,” the independent senator Lidia Thorpe spoke in the chamber while wearing a T-shirt with the word “gammin” written on it. She stated that the idea was all about “appeasing white guilt” and that it would not bring genuine black sovereignty. She also stated that the proposal was a waste of time.

The measure was successful in its pursuit of passage thanks to the support of David Pocock and the Jacqui Lambie Network, as well as Labor and the Green Party. Other members of the Liberal Party, including the Nationals, Thorpe, One Nation, and Ralph Babet, all voted against the motion.

The vote to pass the law was met with cheers and ovations from the packed public galleries, which included Indigenous community leaders Tom Calma, Megan Davis, and Pat Anderson.

Burney stated that the voice was “not about symbolism or tokenism” while speaking at a news conference. It should go without saying.”

“For far too many years, Indigenous Australians have had a standard of living that is continuously lower than that of non-Indigenous Australians. The data from Closing the Gap demonstrate this to us. “The system is in disrepair,” she remarked.

The voice is our best chance to fix it because when we listen to people on the ground and consult with locals, they make better decisions and achieve better outcomes. “The voice” is our best chance to fix it.

The law stipulates that the referendum on the use of voices must take place within the next two to six months. It will take the committees of lawmakers who voted yes and no in the parliament a total of 28 days to compile convincing essays that will be included in the official referendum brochure that will be distributed to every single Australian.

Albanese stated that he had “faith” that Australians would vote for change and that he expected the “positive” campaign that the yes side would run.

“We anticipate that the spread of disinformation will continue… [but] where is the potential harm in this situation? What exactly are folks taking a chance on here? in comparison to the way things have been going up until this point? From my point of view, there is nothing but good to come out of this.”

Liberal Member of Parliament Julian Leeser, who has been a supporter of the voice for a very long time and is a member of the Liberals for Yes organization, stated that he and other conservatives with similar perspectives would advocate for the voice through door-to-door campaigning, street booths, and advertisements.

“It’s a safe change,” he stated.

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