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Time to rally community behind constitutional recognition

Media Release
Christine Milne 26 Jan 2015

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says 2015 is the year Australia should recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution, with a referendum that is fully understood and supported by the community.

"I'm calling on Prime Minister Abbott to get his head out of knights and dames and giving honours to Prince Philip, and instead put real effort into the campaign for giving recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution," said Senator Milne.

"Today is Invasion Day and there is so much we need to do for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"Australia's first people are still struggling in so many ways, with disproportionate rates of incarceration in Australia's prisons, with real poverty, with homelessness.

"We've had talk of constitutional recognition and the expert committee looking into it, but what we haven't seen is any hint of the community campaign that it will take to achieve a successful referendum.

"The Greens would like the vote to happen as soon as possible, but has to be in context of the community fully understanding it and being right behind it.

"We need to build community awareness and educate people so that the whole country is pushing for a referendum," said Senator Milne.

"That's the key thing. We can't have division, we need to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recognition in our constitution.

"It has to be meaningful and that means it has to be supported by the community."

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