FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has met with local artist, pastor and indigenous rights advocate Norman Miller in Canberra this week to show his support for the petition calling for constitutional change.
Mr Miller, who is the Chairman of the Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace, met with Mr Entsch and Ken Wyatt, the Federal Member for Hasluck and Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
“It was good to highlight the aims of the ‘Boomerang Petition’ with Ken Wyatt as he is well aware of the significance, being 50 years since the Yirrkala Bark Petition was received by Federal Parliament,” Mr Entsch said today.
“It’s quite remarkable that Mr Miller has created this over-sized boomerang petition with 360 signatures and brought it from Cairns to Canberra to present, and he has a further 2115 original signatures from people all around Australia on paper to endorse the message.
“I congratulate him for his efforts to initiate this petition and I’m aiming to table it in Parliament during the next sitting fortnight.”
Norman Miller, left, meets Ken Wyatt MP and Warren Entsch MP.
The petition follows the recommendations of the Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, and calls for the House to:
Educate the Australian nation about the need for constitutional change and hold a referendum within two years to:
· Remove Section 25 which says the States can ban people from voting based on their race;
· Remove section 51(xxvi) which can be used to pass laws that discriminate against people based on their race;
· Insert a new section 51A – to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to preserve the Australian Government’s ability to pass laws for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
· Insert a new section 116A, banning racial discrimination by government; and
· Insert a new section 127A, recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were this country’s first tongues, while confirming that English is Australia’s national language.
“Australia already has bipartisan support for constitutional change but the referendum announced for September was ill-timed and didn’t give the Australian public enough time to be able to make an informed decision,” Mr Entsch said.
“I urge Mr Miller to continue in his campaign educating the public, raising community awareness and keeping the issue before government.”