Canberra, Dec 29 (UiTV/IANS) – Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised a referendum on establishing an Indigenous voice to Parliament will be held within 12 months.
Addressing the annual Woodford Folk Festival on Wednesday, Albanese told the crowd that the referendum will have been held by this time next year.
The referendum will ask Australians if they support an alteration to the Constitution that would establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to act as an advisory body to Parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to be a part of enriching our nation and being even stronger in the future,” the Prime Minister said.
“This will give respect to First Nations people, and it will enhance both the way Australians see ourselves, and the way we are seen by the world.”
In order to be successful, the referendum must achieve a double majority, meaning more than half of all voters nationally and a majority in at least four out of six states must vote in favour.
Only eight of the 44 referendums in Australian history have been carried out.
Polling has suggested that the voice was on track to be passed.
Ahead of the vote, the Opposition has called for the government to release more details on how the voice will function.
However, Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said its rules and functions would be determined after the vote if it is successful.
“The people will vote on the principle, for Indigenous people to be guaranteed a fairer say on the laws and policies made about them, and parliament will legislate the detail,” she added.