MP for Dunkley Peta Murphy is urging anyone who wants clarification on the upcoming referendum on Indigenous Voice to Parliament to attend her community meetings in Mount Eliza.
Federal parliament passed the Constitution Alteration Bill on Monday 19 June, meaning the referendum question and proposed amendment to the Constitution are now set. The passage of the Bill means the referendum can be held by the end of the year.
But Murphy said there was still some confusion about what the Voice means, with many people not aware of the details of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a 2017 petition by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to change the constitution of Australia to improve the representation of Indigenous Australians.
She will hold community meetings in her Dunkley electorate to explain the scope of the referendum and what the changes to the constitution mean.
“People want to know what the Voice can and can’t do, there is a lot of interest, and it’s a combination of people who have an idea on how they will vote and people who genuinely want to learn more,” she said.
Murphy said that because the Bill had only just passed, the government’s information campaign was not yet in full swing.
“I’m not getting into politics at these community meetings, they are purely to help people understand. So far there have been a lot of questions about what it all means, and clearly there have been people who are sceptical, but they have always been respectful,” she said.
“People have been grateful just to get information they can trust, rather than what they see on social media.”
There will be a community meeting at Mount Eliza Community Hall this Thursday (29 June) from 5.30pm to 6.30pm where Murphy will discuss a range of community issues, including the Voice, and a Voice-specific meeting at Mount Eliza Secondary College at 7pm at Mount Eliza Secondary College.
First published in the Mornington News – 27th June 2023