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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

The indigenous vote

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K Lavender, Lennox Head

The article Time to move on the Uluru Statement (August 28, page one) gave inaccurate information in its first paragraph. It stated that ‘Australia voted on the referendum to give Indigenous Australians the vote.’ It is a pity that The Echo has repeated this common mistake, and it’s to be hoped that others too will note the facts.

The facts:  In 1962 the Commonwealth parliament changed the Electoral Act to provide Indigenous Australians the rights to enrol and vote in federal elections, incl. Northern Territory elections.

In 1967 a federal referendum approved amendments of the Australian Constitution thus allowing Indigenous Australians to be counted in the Commonwealth Census, and allowing the Commonwealth to make special laws for Indigenous people (this had been expressly disallowed).

Source of information – Australian Electoral Commission: https://www.aec.gov.au/indigenous/milestones.htm

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  1. And if the above information is correct what does it say about Australians regarding the indiginous population?
    It says we as a people are so conservative and so racist that we as a collective mob, separate from the government will not vote “yes” in recognition of the indiginous race unless we are directed to do so by the government.
    1. The parliament changed the electoral Act in 1962 without asking the people.
    2. In 1967 in the referendum the government presented an Argument for a “yes” vote but left the “no” vote arguement blank. There was no information presented by the government for a “no” vote to succeed. That is how we got more than 91 percent of Australians to vote “yes’ to be counted in the Census. It came about because the government directed us to do so.


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