Feb 13 – 5 Years since the Apology, A Day of Celebration – Progress to Recognise Australia’s First Peoples in the Constitution!
Five years on since the National Apology, celebration today as the Commonwealth Government has passed an Act that provides recognition and a pathway toward Constitutional Reform!!!
Indigenous Minister Jenny Macklin explained the task in her contribution.
This legislation is only the first step.
“With support across the Parliament for this Act of Recognition, we continue to build the momentum we need for successful constitutional change.
We do not intend the Act to be a substitute for constitutional reform.
To maintain momentum towards a successful referendum, a sunset provision in the Bill limits the effect of the Act to two years. Speaker, we expect this will also provide an impetus for a future Parliament to assess how the campaign for change is travelling, and the appropriate timing for a successful referendum.
The Bill also provides for a review to consider and advise a future Parliament on proposals to submit to a referendum, taking into account the valuable work that has been done by the Expert Panel.
We know that legislation is not the appropriate forum to make all the changes we want to see.
These changes must ultimately be made in our nation’s foundation document.”