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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Majority Australians in favour of Indigenous Voice to parliament: Poll

Canberra, Feb 6 (IANS) Support for a proposed Indigenous Voice to Australia’s Parliament remains high ahead of a referendum, a new poll revealed on MOnday.

According to the poll published by News Corp Australia, 56 per cent of voters are in favour of enshrining the voice in the constitution, 37 per cent opposed and 7 per cent undecided, reports Xinhua news agency.

A referendum on changing the constitution to establish the voice is expected to be held in the second half of 2023.

If successful, Indigenous Australians would be acknowledged in the constitution and included in the law-making process, with the body to advise Parliament on issues relating to First Nations people.

Senator Patrick Dodson, the government’s Special Envoy for Reconciliation, said the body could also have a role advising the national cabinet, which consists of the prime minister and state and territory leaders.

“I’m not sure how that’s going to work out in the legislative framework of how to interact with the parliament and the executive government, but I would think that national cabinet is one of the aspects that you’d want to be able to talk to,” he said.

The support for the proposal revealed in Monday’s poll is a boost for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has come under pressure from the Opposition to reveal details of how the voice would function.

Neither the conservative Liberal Party nor progressive Greens has yet announced whether they will support a yes vote in the referendum.

Monday’s poll found only 28 per cent of voters said they were “strongly” in favour of the Voice and 23 per cent strongly opposed, meaning almost 50 per cent of the population could still be swayed.

In order to be successful a referendum must achieve a double majority, meaning a simple majority of voters nationwide and a separate majority of voters in at least four out of six states in favour.

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