Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has hit out at detractors of the proposed indigenous Voice to parliament, accusing some of being “disingenuous” in their opposition.
Mr Albanese says he wants to “look for national unity” in the lead up to the referendum on the Voice to be held later this year, hitting back at criticism that the Labor government is not releasing enough detail on the proposal.
“It’s a simple proposition, that we recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our constitution and that they have a voice, that they be consulted, I regard it as good manners,” he told ABC TV’s 7:30 program.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has lashed out over accusations his government has not provided enough detail about the Voice to parliament ahead of this year’s referendum. Picture: NCA NewsWire / POOL
“But it is also very clear that the reason why some of the debate is disingenuous at the moment about detail is that it misses the whole point.”
The prime minister referenced Opposition Leader Peter Dutton as a politician who looked “for division” after he published an open letter to Mr Albanese on the weekend featuring 15 questions he needed to be answered before Australians go to the polls.
“It‘s obvious that the prime minister has made a political decision based on the advice of his strategists not to provide the detail to the Australian public,” Mr Dutton said in the letter.
“By doing that, I really think he‘s treating people like mugs.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton wrote an open letter to Mr Albanese, published in the media on the weekend, asking 15 questions he says needed to be answered before the referendum. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
The Opposition Leader then went on to say that Mr Albanese was “setting the Voice up for a fail” by “starving the Australian people” of its detail.
Mr Albanese hit back on Monday, saying he wants national unity on the issue.
“I have made that very clear and that’s why I’ve met with Peter Dutton on a number of occasions, and that’s why I was disappointed to pick up the paper and read that apparently he had written to me, but he forgot to actually write to me, he just gave it to the newspapers, which is the first time that I heard about this correspondence,” he said.
So even though I talked with Peter Dutton on Friday at the @McGrathFdn event, he gives a letter to multiple media outlets as â€œexclusiveâ€ on constitutional recognition and the Uluá¹Ÿu Statement- a letter I still havenâ€™t seen.
People are over cheap culture war stunts.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) January 7, 2023
“To me, that isn’t fair dinkum, if you are fair dinkum, sit down, work the issues through, come up with a constructive proposal.”
Mr Albanese also hit back at the accusation that there is not enough information on the Voice, saying that there was “an enormous amount of detail out there”.
The model will follow one outlined in a 2021 report by Marcia Langton and Tom Calma that has previously been taken to the previous Coalition Cabinet by former Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt.
Read related topics:Anthony Albanese