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Voice to Parliament accepted as the only option for Indigenous recognition

Native Title & Public Interest Law
Mark Leibler website hi res
Quoted in today’s edition of the Australian newspaper, Arnold Bloch Leibler Senior Partner Mark Leibler said that the final report of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians removes any doubt that an Indigenous Voice to Parliament will be part of any constitutional change.

“Following the government’s earlier outright rejection of the voice, there is now unequivocal understanding that the Voice to Parliament is the only option for constitutional change in play because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are simply not interested in other option­s considered by the expert panel and the Referendum Council,” he said.

In a submission to the Committee, Mark had acknowledged they had an extremely challenging task to recommend a way forward that would both accord with the wishes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and also achieve cross-party support. 

“The consensus they have achieved represents very significant progress in this long-running national discussion, and the co-chairs and other members should be commended.

“The Committee has followed the only path available to them to discharge their Resolution of Appointment – to recommend a process to build bipartisan support around the model of recognition presented in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. 

“That process will begin with work that should have been done as soon as the Referendum Council delivered its final report at the end of June, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives working closely with representatives of the Parliament to develop a mutually acceptable model for the Voice to Parliament.

“One of the most positive aspects of the report is the preparedness of members across the political spectrum to look at all options, and to have the Parliament and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives intimately involved in undertaking this work. “
 
While the report suggests that all aspects of the model should be finalised before it can be decided whether a constitutional amendment is the appropriate way forward, Mark said he didn’t believe it was necessary for “every detail to be hammered out”.

“Another significant development is that all the misinformation about third chambers and unequal citizens’ rights is gone,” he said.

Click here to read the article in The Australian.

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