Majority support for constitutional recognition of ATSI people

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today received a report recommending that Australia’s constitution be changed so that it recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people.

The report, written by the Government-appointed Panel on Constitutional
Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, also recommends changes to sections of the Australian constitution
that permit discrimination on the basis of race.

A majority of Australians support both recommendations, according to the Panel’s research.

Rather than introduce a new preamble to the constitution, the report recommends Australia should introduce a statement of recognition of ATSI people in the body of the constitution, according to today’s Canberra Times.

‘Crucially, though, [the report] recommended that any referendum on the question should only be held when it was likely to be supported by all major political parties and a majority of state governments,’ the Canberra Times said.

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