26 Jan Noel Pearson tells Julia Gillard: give us first vote (The Australian)
CAPE York leader Noel Pearson has insisted that Aboriginal Australians be given a vote to determine whether a referendum on indigenous recognition in the Constitution goes ahead, and has cautioned against that referendum being held on the same day as the next federal election.
Mr Pearson has broken his silence on his vision for a constitutional referendum after accepting an invitation by the Gillard government to sit on an expert panel that will deliberate on what is ultimately put to voters.
In a piece written for The Australian today, Mr Pearson argues that if Aborigines do not support the proposition for constitutional change, then a broader referendum should not be held.
“Firstly any proposition that comes out of the process presided over by the expert panel should first be subjected to a preliminary vote of indigenous Australia,” Mr Pearson argues.
“Indigenous Australians should be given the opportunity to say whether they wish to put the question to the Australian nation. If our people do not support the proposition, then it should not be put.” …Go to article.