Voice to Parliament: Dutton slams Albanese over lack of detail on referendum

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Voice to Parliament: Dutton slams Albanese over lack of detail on referendum

Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has challenged Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to provide further detail on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, saying there were many Australians who could support the referendum if they had more information.

Speaking to the media in Queensland on Sunday, the Opposition Leader said the Prime Minister was treating the public “like mugs” by refusing to reveal more information into the indigenous advisory body, which would be enshrined into the constitution in the event of a successful referendum campaign.

Mr Dutton said Mr Albanese was engaged in a “deliberate, tricky strategy” in his decision to “starve” people of information into the Voice.

“The Prime Minister has had seven months to come up with a plan to present the detail to the Australian public, and I think he’s treating the public frankly like mugs,” Mr Dutton said.

“People have got reasonable questions. I think there are many Australians who, if they had the detail in front of them about a particular model … could support the Voice,” he said.

“There would be others who say, well that’s not a model that I think is going to enhance the outcomes, (or) narrow the gap in relation to Indigenous Australians.”

Mr Dutton said it was a “very serious decision” to change the Australian constitution.

“You can’t just say to the Australian public as the Prime Minister is suggesting, that you vote on constitutional change on a Saturday and we’ll give the detail on a Monday,” he said.

“We live in one of the strongest democracies in the world, we have an established and stable system of government.”

“This is a very significant proposal to deviate from the way that we govern, the way that the High Court could interpret a Voice and words in the constitution.

“The onus is on the Prime Minister to release that detail.”

Mr Dutton claimed he was speaking on behalf of “millions of Australians.”

“How would people be voted onto the Voice? How would regional areas be represented?”

“Australians, I think, are reasonably saying ‘if we’re going to be asked to vote for constitutional change which enshrines an arrangement, we should know what that arrangement is’.”

Mr Dutton’s comments come after he wrote a letter addressed to Mr Albanese, which said he was making a “catastrophic mistake not providing accessible, clear, and complete information regarding your government’s version of the Voice.”

On Sunday, Mr Albanese said he was yet to see the letter, and criticised Mr Dutton for engaging in “cheap culture war stunts.”

The Liberal Party are yet to announce their position on the Voice to Parliament, the referendum for which could occur as soon as soon as August.

This week Greens spokeswoman on First Nations issues, Lidia Thorpe, insisted the party did not have a final position on whether it would support the referendum.

Last year The Nationals announced they would oppose the Voice, with Leader David Littleproud saying at the time he did not think the proposal would “genuinely close the gap.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbanesePeter Dutton

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