The Voice Referendum: Here’s what you need to know

VotingPrime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the date for the Voice to Parliament referendum. 

On October 14, Australian voters will provide a YES or NO response to a proposed law to alter “the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice”. 

All households should have received a Yes/No case pamphlet from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The online pamphlet is available here. It outlines the case for both sides of the debate. The Yes summary is authorised by MPs and Senators who voted for the bill in parliament, and the No summary is authorised by MPs who voted against it. 

What may change 

The proposed law, being the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023, would change the Constitution by inserting the following text after Chapter VIII: 

Chapter IX—Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia: 

(i) there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice; 

(ii) the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; 

(iii) the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures. 

The proposed law would also change the Constitution by inserting the following text into the Table of Contents in the Constitution, after the reference to ‘Chapter VIII Alteration of the Constitution’: 

Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

To be part of WA’s peak business organisation, get in touch via 1300 422 492 or [email protected]  

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