Australia vows vote on recognition of indigenous people by 2022

Ken Wyatt

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Minister appointed Ken Wyatt to Indigenous Australians Minister. AAP

The Minister for Indigenous Australians has all but confirmed a voice for indigenous Australians will not be enshrined in the Constitution.

However, with public support on the issue growing, Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt promised a referendum before 2022.

Mr Wyatt had also proposed establishing an indigenous voice to advise parliament, to be either enshrined in the nation's founding document or through legislation.

Conservative Liberals and Nationals have raised concerns the Indigenous advisory body could become a "third chamber" of federal parliament.

"We're not in favour of a third chamber or a separate voice", senior minister Peter Dutton told the Nine Network on Friday.

"We've got a very strong democracy, we want to see more Indigenous people in the parliament, and it's great that Ken Wyatt is the first Indigenous affairs minister".

As he tries to build consensus for the national vote, Mr Wyatt sought to calm his colleagues. The government rejected the proposal, insisting it would create a de facto third chamber in parliament.

"I am prepared to walk with people on all sides of politics, all sides of our community to hear their views and reach a point in which they can agree", he said.

Since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was first put forward in May 2017, there have been rejections and criticisms from former and current Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, respectively.

According to speech notes obtained by the ABC, Wyatt will address the National Press Club today to promise the Morrison Government's commitment to constitutional change.

"What people don't realise is whatever words you insert into the constitution, they can have significant implications way beyond the simple wording", he told AM host Sabra Lane.

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