THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
THE HON ROBERT MCLELLAND MP
North East Arnhem Land NT
8 August 2010
A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will continue to progress the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
Indigenous people generously share their culture and traditions with those who have come here after them.
Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would be an important step in strengthening the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and building trust.
Bipartisan commitment is essential for achieving this important constitutional reform and we want this to be a bipartisan process.
Former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and John Howard both supported giving formal acknowledgement and recognition of Indigenous Australians in Australia’s Constitution.
A Gillard Labor Government will establish an Expert Panel on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition comprising Indigenous leaders, Members of Parliament, constitutional law experts and members of the broader Australian community.
The expert panel would be charged with broad consultation on recognition of Indigenous people in the constitution, providing options on the form of the amendment and guidance on the information needed for public discussion.
It is proposed that the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition would jointly determine the terms of reference and membership of the panel.
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