Inquiry backs unamended laws on Indigenous voice

May 12, 2023 02:43 PM AEST | By AAPNEWS
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A cross-party parliamentary committee has backed laws setting up a referendum to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution.

The inquiry report, released three days earlier than expected on Friday, said the need for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is "unquestionable".

"Witnesses spoke about the 'torment of powerlessness', how it impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and threatens to affect their children's lives, and their children," the report said.

"They spoke about the potential for a voice to overcome this powerlessness."

While some witnesses raised concerns regarding certain aspects of the legislation, "the committee is satisfied that the constitution alteration is not only fit for purpose but also will enhance Australia's systems of governance and laws".

"The committee has only one recommendation: the passage of the constitution alteration, unamended".

Committee chair and Labor senator Nita Green noted the late Indigenous leader Yunupingu called for "an honest answer from the Australian people to an honest question".

"This is an honest question; it is now time for the Australian people be given the opportunity to provide an honest answer," Senator Green wrote in the report.


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