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Greens reflect on need to update Constitution, 113 years on

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 9 Jul 2013

The Australian Greens said that as we mark 113 years of the Australian Constitution today it is important to acknowledge the need to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Local Government are finally recognised in our Constitution.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues has participated in broad consultation with Aboriginal people, constitutional lawyers and the general public about Constitutional Recognition of Australia's first peoples, as part of an expert panel that delivered recommendations for substantive constitutional change at the start of 2012.

Senator Siewert said "Queen Victoria gave royal assent to the Australian Constitution on 9 July 1900. The time has well and truly come for this foundational document to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the role of Local Government," said Senator Siewert.

"The Greens are committed to seeing our founding document recognise our nation's First Peoples.

"This will require cross partisan support, but also political will to ensure that the final question that is put to the Australian people is substantive and builds on the recommendations from the expert panel.

Greens local government spokesperson Senator Rhiannon said "Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and of Local Government were put on the political agenda by the Greens in 2010 and we hope to see the Australian people get behind these campaigns to give the necessary momentum for change.

"The referendum to recognise Local Government is looming and a 'yes' vote will mean that communities get the local services and infrastructure that they need and deserve", said Senator Rhiannon.

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