Opposition questions new recognition line in proposal

“It speaks to a failure of the process in this whole matter. This is the constitution. It’s too important to mess with. The Prime Minister never uttered this complete sentence. The first time it appeared publicly anywhere as part of the change was in the letter to Peter Dutton two days ago.”

In response to a number of questions, including about when the new sentence was added, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said the Prime Minister had “repeated exactly what he said at Garma more than six months ago” in his letter to Dutton.

“These words have always been uttered as a starting point and will be carefully considered by the Constitutional Expert Group, among others [advising the government on the proposal]’ said Dreyfus.

The government is asking its 21-strong working group of indigenous leaders and constitutional experts for advice on the text of the amendment, with the final draft set to go to parliament in March for debate in a constitutional amendment bill.

The constitutional expert group pointed out on Thursday that the line of recognition could be included without legal concerns and agreed that “such introductory language would be suitable for concisely explaining the enactment of the provision and clearly linking the provision to constitutional recognition”.

Professor George Williams, a member of the Legal Experts Group, said it was “ambiguous” from the transcript of the Prime Minister’s Garma speech whether the line of recognition should always be part of the draft proposal, but called its inclusion a sensible and sensible change.

“It shows that it was a draft and the government is making improvements and updates and that will continue until it goes into Parliament in March,” Williams said.

Albanese has repeatedly stressed that the amendment is a draft and has asked for public feedback, but so far no formal public submission process has been established – something the coalition claims represents an “unorthodox” break with previous referendums.

“A real trial is something that requires public input, where you have excellent lawyers who have different positions on that who can make input, and you hear a public debate about those issues, and you sort things out before this matter goes into the process is brought to Parliament,” Leeser said.

When asked about the new phrase on ABC television, Labor Senator and Aboriginal elder Pat Dodson said the vote was essentially about recognition of Aboriginal people and would serve as a preamble to the three phrases establishing the body.

The Voice statement of support from prime ministers and prime ministers.

The Voice statement of support from prime ministers and prime ministers.

These three phrases are: one that anchors the voice; one stating that the voice on matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people “can appear before Parliament and the Executive”; and one that empowers Parliament to legislate on how the voice is created and how it works.

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https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/failure-of-process-opposition-questions-new-recognition-line-in-voice-proposal-20230203-p5chpk.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_politics_federal Opposition questions new recognition line in proposal

Callan Tansill

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