Australia Rejects Indigenous Recognition via Voice to Parliament; Referendum Doomed

Australian voters have rejected the proposal for Indigenous recognition through a Voice to Parliament advisory body, indicating that it is unlikely to secure the required double majority to pass the referendum,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

On a national scale, the majority of voters have opposed the suggested constitutional amendment. The ABC’s projections show a majority of ‘No’ votes in Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory, Victoria, and Western Australia. However, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), similar to the NT, is projected to be the sole jurisdiction returning a ‘Yes’ vote.

The proposed Voice to Parliament would have functioned as an advisory body without veto power, yet it would have been a permanent fixture in the constitution, preventing any future government from abolishing it without a subsequent referendum.

The idea for the Voice was initially put forward following the Statement from the Heart, which was released six years ago after numerous Indigenous Australians participated in the Uluru Dialogues. This statement advocated for a constitutionally embedded Voice, along with truth-telling and the establishment of treaties.

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