The HRLC has made a submission to a Joint Select Committee inquiry into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012. The Bill, introduced into Federal Parliament in November 2012, recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia's first inhabitants and requires a review to be conducted of the public support for a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution. In its submission to the Committee, the HRLC:
- welcomes the introduction of legislation that positively recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were the first inhabitants of Australia;
- emphasises that the Bill should not, however, be seen as an alternative to Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples but rather as an important stepping stone;
- recommends that representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities must be included in those tasked to undertake the review under the Bill; and
- recommends that aspects of the Bill be amended to recognise the work already undertaken by the Expert Panel and the recommendations it made.
Click here for further information about the Committee's inquiry.
Further Information about Constitutional Recognition
Click here for the HRLC's submission to the Expert Panel.
Further information about the process to consider recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution is available at www.youmeunity.org.au.