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The Coalition’s proposed second referendum, explained

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In the lead up to the referendum, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said a future Coalition Government would hold a second referendum on Constitutional recognition of First Nations people (without an advisory body) if the Voice failed.
coalition second referendum

In the lead up to the referendum, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said a future Coalition Government would hold a second referendum on Constitutional recognition of First Nations people (without an advisory body) if the Voice failed.

Dutton argued against the Voice because he said it would be “divisive” and fail to deliver outcomes.

Now, after the majority of Australians voted ‘no’, Dutton has faced questions over his stance. Here’s the latest.

New comments

Dutton revised his position on a second referendum this week.

He said that all Coalition policies, including a second referendum, would now be under review, and that it was “clear” Australians were “probably over the referendum process for some time”.

The policy review will be led by Shadow Indigenous Australians Minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, a prominent ‘no’ campaigner, and Liberal Senator Kerrynne Liddle.

Journalists asked Dutton on several occasions this week to clarify his comments.

During TV appearances on Channel Nine and Seven, Dutton said Indigenous recognition in the Constitution was a long-held Liberal Party policy, and that he remained in support of this.

He did say he would hesitate to progress a new referendum without the support of the Labor Party, noting that support from both major parties would give a future vote a stronger chance of success.

Labor’s comments

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has criticised Dutton’s comments, saying the Opposition Leader had “more flip-flop than a thong factory” during Question Time in Parliament this week.

Albanese hasn’t given his support for Dutton’s proposed referendum.

Albanese has also said he won’t legislate an Indigenous Voice, which was seen as an alternative to enshrining it in the Constitution.

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