An unfair Budget: Response to 2015 Federal Budget
The Federal Government has agreed to hold a national referendum to ensure Australia’s highest law – the Constitution – recognises the First Peoples of this land and reflects the principle of racial equality. This is a once-in-a-generation to come together to show respect to the First Peoples and affirm our belief in the fair go. ANTaR is campaigning to ensure that the referendum is held in a timely manner.
For further information, please visit ANTaR National’s website and check out the video. A couple of great articles by Aboriginal Professor Megan Davis and Professor George Williams also help explain the issues further.
Why do we need constitutional change?
The public discussion about Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples has focused on three main problems with our nation’s founding document:
- There is no mention of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution.
- Section 25 contemplates laws that ban people from voting on the basis of their race. This power was last used to exclude Aboriginal people from voting in Queensland, up until 1965.
- Section 51(xxvi) is a ‘races power’ which allows ‘special laws’ to be directed at the people of a particular race. While this power allows laws to address disadvantage, it leaves open the possibility that future governments could unfairly target the people of any race for negative treatment.