Australia's PM chokes up as he reveals Indigenous referendum details

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese choked up as he revealed the wording of the upcoming referendum question on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament today.

Speaking from Canberra, Albanese said the question would be: “A proposed law to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?

“I want to thank sincerely all members of the working group and all who have engaged with them."

Albanese had to stop for a few seconds to compose himself before continuing.

“For many, this moment has been a very long time in the making yet they have shown such patience and optimism though this process.”

The new chapter in the Constitution would establish a body which would make representations to Parliament on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Parliament would still have the power to make laws regarding matters involving First Nations people.

History is not on Albanese’s side though. Australia’s track record on referendums is patchy at best.

Just eight out of 44 proposals have succeeded since 1901.

The specifics of the referendum have been under scrutiny in recent months too, with allegations from within Parliament that the charge would negatively impact democracy, and fail to achieve positive results for First Nations people.

A committee aiming to rally support for those opposing the Voice is being led by six people, including high-profile Indigenous Senator Jacinta Price.

Today, Albanese said “governments have spent decades trying to impose solutions from Canberra rather than consulting with communities”.

“I know that every Australian wants to see our nation do better than this because our nation is better than this.”