As of July 2011, there are two active campaigns to modify the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. Neither is required, nor is likely to advance the interests of the people of the Commonwealth. History has shown that when politicians attempt to alter the Constitution the people are never better off by accepting referendum questions.
One campaign is related to "Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians"; the other is related to "Constitutional recognition of local government" in the Constitution. For the former campaign, Indigenous Australians are already represented within the first three words of the Constitution, and any further and distinct recognition will create division and not unity, and may attack the existing Preamble. For the latter campaign, Australians rejected the establishment and continuance of Local Government in 1988; this is an attempt to further subjugate Australians to excessive taxation (council rates are not taxation), and may attack the existing Preamble.
As of July 2011, there does not appear to be any government-led activities where the people of the Commonwealth can participate.
Readers are encouraged to keep abreast of any developments related to these potential alterations to the Constitution.
Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians
It appears this campaign is being headed by the Department of Family, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
- Overview: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/indigenous/progserv/engagement/Pages/consti...
- Communiqué 4 May 2011: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/indigenous/progserv/engagement/Pages/commun...
From the Communiqué 4 May 2011:
The Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians today agreed to an extensive schedule of consultations which includes meetings and discussions across urban, regional and remote Australia ...
Over the next six months public consultations and meetings will be held in all states and territories to engage directly with Australians. As well, the Panel will be receiving submissions in writing, through emails or via an interactive website...
A discussion paper and accompanying DVD will be released soon, as the starting point for consultations...
After conducting the national consultations, the Panel will report to the Australian Government in December this year on possible options for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and changes that are most likely to have strong community support...
For more information concerning this communiqué email firstname.lastname@example.org or freecall: 1800 836 422.
Constitutional recognition for Local Government
It appears this campaign is being headed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).
- Overview: http://www.alga.asn.au/constitutionalrecognition/
- Explanatory Notes: http://www.alga.asn.au/constitutionalrecognition/pdf/ExplanatoryNotes.pdf
Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
These campaigns may eventually wind up in front of the Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. As of July 2011 it does not appear that the committee is reviewing either proposal.