Julia Gillard says a referendum on constitutional change to recognise Indigenous people is important work for a new generation. Watch the video here >>
Source: PM laments ‘unhealed wound’ of Indigenous Australia – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Address : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-13/pm-laments–unhealed-wound-of-indigenous-australia/4516284
Date Visited: Sat Feb 16 2013 20:44:24 GMT+0100 (CET)
By chief political correspondent Simon Cullen
Updated Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:56pm AEDT
The House of Representatives has passed legislation recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first inhabitants of Australia.
The bill is considered an interim step on the path towards an eventual referendum for constitutional change.
Its passage through the Lower House was greeted with applause from the public gallery and coincides with the five year anniversary on which former prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has described the legislation as a “sign of good faith” that Parliament is committed to righting the wrongs of previous actions.
“No gesture speaks more deeply to the healing of our nation’s fabric than amending our nation’s founding charter,” she told Parliament.
“This bill seeks to foster momentum for a referendum for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
The legislation passed with unanimous support. […]
“So often in this place, we are antagonists. Today on this matter, we are partners and collaborators,” he said.
The preamble to the legislation notes that further consultation is necessary to refine plans for a referendum and to grow community support for the change. […]
Ms Gillard has indicated that the referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution is likely to be held next year.
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says there now needs to be a full and frank discussion about the proposed wording to go into the constitution. […]
An expert panel set up to consider the options for constitutional change recommended amendments to recognise that Australia was first inhabited by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It also suggested there should be an acknowledgement of the need to “secure the advancement” of Indigenous people.
The panel recommended English be declared Australia’s national language, but that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages be recognised as the country’s first languages.
Source: Politicians unite on Indigenous recognition vote – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Address : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-13/politicians-unite-on-indigenous-recognition-vote/4516238
Date Visited: Sat Feb 16 2013 20:34:45 GMT+0100 (CET)