Federal Labor won’t hold vote on whether Australia should become republic

157
3
Federal Labor won’t hold vote on whether Australia should become republic

Federal Labor is not going to hold a vote on whether Australia should become a Republic within its first term of government.

The party is prioritizing a referendum to create an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which would allow First Nations people to have a say on policies and laws affecting their communities.

Some Indigenous campaigners and the Australian Monarchist League are concerned that holding two significant votes on constitutional change within a short period could confuse people.

Before a referendum on what model should take place at a later date, federal Labor set aside $160 million for a plebiscite to determine support for a republic.

A similar policy was announced before the 2017 election, but a Labor government led by Anthony Albanese will take a different approach.

Labor spokesperson said that this is the only referendum we will commit to in our first term of government because of the Constitutional recognition and a Voice to Parliament for First Nations people.

The head of the Australian Monarchist League said he was concerned by suggestions that a vote on the republic and Indigenous recognition could be combined.

If a republic is intertwined with the voice, it will make it harder for monarchists to get a straight message across on the single issue of head of state, Philip Benwell said.

The Australian Republican Movement contacted the Australian Republican Movement for a comment, and a significant percentage of his membership supported some form of constitutional recognition of Indigenous people.

Albanese says a referendum is one of my priorities.

The opposition spokeswoman for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, said Labor would only call a referendum on a Voice to Parliament if it is confident of a victory.

Ms Burney told the ABC that they wanted to maximise the chance of success and do it in a way that has the support of the First Nations community.

While announcing the plebiscite commitment, senior Labor figures have often said that becoming a republic is not a top priority for many Australians.

On Australia Day this year, Mr Albanese described a voice to Parliament as one of his party's top priorities.

One of my priorities will be to recognise First Nations people in Australia's Constitution with a constitutionally recognised voice to Parliament, because of the fact that our history goes back at least 60,000 years.

Indigenous leaders called for the next federal government to hold a referendum within two years.

They identified two possible times for the referendum: May 2023 and January 2024.

Indigenous legal experts argued that the constitution should be changed so that a Voice to Parliament is a permanent arrangement in Australia.

Megan Davis, co-chair of the Uluru Dialogue, said that constitutional change had already received support from the unions, businesses and the broader community.