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Date put forward for referendum on enshrined First Nations voice to parliament

Tom Zaunmayr -

Uluru Statement From the Heart backers will push to have a referendum to enshrine a First Nations voice in the Australian constitution one year after the May Federal election.

Speaking from Yarrabah on Sunday at the same time Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the Federal election for May 21, professor Megan Davies revealed the Uluru Statement team would push for a referendum to be held for the voice on May 27 next year.

The date was chosen to capitalise on the new government's honeymoon period and coincide with the anniversary of both the Uluru Statement and the 1967 referendum to count Indigenous Australians as part of the population and enable lawmaking for them.

It comes amid Labor's backing of a referendum in its first term, albeit with the possibility of strings attached should they not be confident of a yes vote, and with the incumbent Liberal-National Government yet to support the move.

Referendum council co-chairwoman Pat Anderson said the campaign team behind the Uluru Statement were preparing to fight for a yes vote once a referendum is called.

Confidence high for enshrined voice public support

Enshrined voice will 'end cycle of begging' for for rights

Its going to be really difficult, it is the big fight we are going to have," she said.

"This is a good time to go to referendum.

"We have to convince more and more Australians this is the right thing to do. It is time to resolve the issues between us."

UNSW Indigenous Law Centre research associate Eddie Synot said the numbers appeared to be behind a yes vote should a referendum proceed.

"We have a clear commitment from the Labor Party that they support the Uluru Statement in full, and that means a referendum on a First Nations voice protected in the constitution," he said.

"The (current) government is not necessarily not supportive, it is just they are pursuing their policy which is a legislative policy first.

"(We are) as confident as we can be - the polling we have indicates there is majority support."

Mr Synot said support for an enshrined voice had been identified within the Coalition Government as well.


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