Urbis Think Tank

Urbis analysis features in report on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians

The Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians handed down its report to the Prime Minister today, recommending significant changes to the Constitution, to be put to a referendum.

Urbis’ report analysing the 3,464 public submissions to the Panel formed a major part of the report, with a key finding being that 83% of submissions to the Panel support constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Within the Panel’s report, there are five key recommendations

  • Repeal of section 25, which contemplates the possibility of State laws disqualifying people of a particular race from voting at State elections
  • Repeal of section 51(xxvi), otherwise known as the ‘races’ power
  • A new Section 51A: Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • A new section 116A: Prohibition of racial discrimination, providing a constitutional prohibition of racially discriminatory laws and executive action
  • A new section 127A: Recognition of languages, that the national language of the Commonwealth of Australia is English and a statement of recognition that “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are the original Australian languages, a part of our national heritage”

In addition, the report recommends:

  • No proposal for an agreement-making power between Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth Government be put to a referendum
  • Any discussion of a bill or statement of rights was well outside its remit

Urbis Public Policy is one of the leading consulting firms on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy, and we are proud of the contribution that we have made to the national debate regarding constitutional recognition.

The full report of the Panel and the full Urbis report can be accessed at the You Me Unity website here.

For further details, please contact Linda Kurti

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