If the government is serious about First Nations justice they need to make sure every step is taken to ensure First Nations people of voting age can cast their vote in the referendum.
Democratic participation is essential to getting the referendum over the line.
GetUp CEO and Widjabul Wia-bal woman Larissa Baldwin-Roberts said:
“For over a decade we’ve been fighting voter suppression in First Nations communities. Voters have been purged from the electoral roll and years of Coalition-led funding cuts has meant enrolment rates and access to voting has dropped.
“The provisional voting amendment to the Referendum bill will undo years of suppression and ensure that thousands of First Nations people will have access to voting in this Referendum. It will mean that people in remote communities have access to enrol on election day.
“We saw how similar reforms in the Northern Territory elections increased voter turnout. The referendum has to uphold the best of our democratic process, without this costless measure we will continue to experience yet another form of voter suppression. This is something that communities and the AEC supports.
“This amendment would give thousands of First Nations people across the country the right to vote in a referendum that is all about our vision for our communities.
“We cannot have a referendum that directly impacts First Nations communities, without first ensuring every eligible First Nations person can vote on it.”
Media contact: Amy Morgan.firstname.lastname@example.org, +61 2 8188 2870