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Canberra, May 31 – Australia’s House of Representatives, or lower house of Parliament, on Wednesday passed a legislation to establish a referendum on the Indigenous Voice proposal.
The lower house voted 121-25 in favour of the government’s Constitution Alteration Bill, reports Xinhua news agency.
This means Australians are now one step closer to voting on whether to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the country’s first referendum since 1999.
The bill will now head to the Senate before the government sets a date for the poll later in this year.
If successful, the referendum would alter the constitution to recognise First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice and establish the Voice as a body that would advise the federal parliament on issues relating to Indigenous Australians.
In a tweet following the vote, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “Our Constitutional Alteration Bill has just passed the House of Representatives. We’re one step closer to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our Constitution.”
The vote in Parliament coincided with more than 100 Australian migrant and cultural organisations joining forces to declare their support for the voice.
The community organisations released a joint resolution asking for all Australians to work together on ensuring a referendum on the proposal is successful.