Peter Dutton accuses Albanese government of making up Voice referendum plan “on the run”

In an interview with ABC on Friday morning, Dodson said “the detail will be resolved when it’s ready. This is a process of consultation, of collaboration. There are a lot of moving components to it. It’s not like putting the car in the garage and expecting the mechanic to fix it overnight.”

Dodson did not promote legislation without a referendum, which he described as “the first step”.

Asked about Indigenous critics of the Voice, such as Country Liberal senator Jacinta Price or Greens senator Lidia Thorpe, who has called the referendum a “waste of time”, Dodson said “there was no real difference” in their aims, but noted the disputes “were not helpful to reconciling the nation”.


There is growing disquiet among some supporters that not enough is being done to address criticism of the Voice’s scope to ensure the final amendment is capable of securing widespread support.

Burney released a statement after Dutton aired his criticism saying she would “continue reaching out across the parliament to build consensus and support for this important nation-building project. The Voice to parliament is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make the much-needed structural changes that will lead to improvements in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

The referendum working group will meet next week to discuss the next steps, after its first meeting was cancelled following the death of the Queen and the subsequent suspension of parliament.

During a condolence motion in parliament on Friday, Burney, a Wiradjuri woman who is helming the Albanese government’s work on the Voice, was one of several Indigenous MPs and senators to speak about the impact of British colonialism on Aboriginal people.

Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has defended Australia’s British colonial legacy.

Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has defended Australia’s British colonial legacy.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Burney said she grew up singing God save the Queen in primary school while not being counted as an Australian and being denied the same citizenship rights as her non-Indigenous peers.

Price used her upper house speech to speak of the connection between famed painter Albert Namatjira and Queen Elizabeth, who admired his art, while also defending the role of the British Empire in Australia’s history.

“This landmass we call home was never going to be left untouched by anyone other than our First Peoples,” Price said. “We can be grateful that it was, in fact, the British who settled here before any other possible colonists.”

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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