Discussion paper response

Leigh McLaughlin
What is your full name?
Leigh McLaughlin
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Do you support recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by changing the Constitution or making some other kind of legal change?
What should the change look like?
This change is long overdue because it is ridiculous that our Constitution is silent on this crucial fact of our history. It is also important to the pride, identity and feeling of acceptance of Aborigial people. Furthermore, as a nation we are incredib
Should we have a statement that acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia?
Yes. This should be in the Constitution.
Where is the best place to put it?
In the main part of the Constitution and in the preamble. It should be prominent. Aboriginal people shouldn't just be lumped into being part of multicultural Australia.
What should the statement say?
It should be well written and talk about their continuing culture, language, connection to country, rights as Indigenous peoples - there has been plenty written over the years in various books and publications so it shouldn't be difficult to come up with
Do you have any other comments on a statement about the First Peoples of Australia?
Indigenous peoples in all countries of the world have a particular identity and status which should be recognised culturally, socially and in law. I think we have an absolutely wasted opportunity in Australia. We could learn from their knowledge of coun
Should the word 'race' be taken out of the Constitution?
Should the Australian Parliament keep the power to make special laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
Do you have any ideas on what new words could be used to describe that power, or where in the Constitution to put the power?
The Government should be able to do things that benefit Aboriginal people. As I have said they have special rights because they are Indigenous so there should be the ability to make some special provisions. But it needs care as Governments have used the
Do you think that a guarantee against racial discrimination should go into the Constitution?
Do you have any ideas about what words to use for that guarantee, or where in the Constitution to put it?
It's a quandary. I answered yes to the question above saying take 'race' out of the constitution but now I'm saying the constitution should protect everyone from racial discrimination. So that's contradictory but I do think that the constitution should
Should the guarantee protect all Australians against racial discrimination, or only Indigenous Australians?
All Australians
If there is not enough support for a guarantee in the Constitution, what other things can we do to stop racial discrimination in national laws?
Our laws must prohibit discrimination on the basis of culture, ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, age, socio economic status, ability etc
Do you think Indigenous people should have a say when Parliament and government make laws and policies about Indigenous affairs?
Should a new Indigenous group be set up under the Constitution to give advice and make sure Indigenous people have a voice in political decisions that affect them?
Is it worth creating the new group if it can only give advice and does not have the power to block new laws?
Do you have any ideas about what the new group would look like?
A reinvented ATSIC with sufficient powers, resources and respect of Executive Government, public service and all Australians
Do you have any other comments on this Indigenous group?
ATSIC failed for various reasons but it also did a good job in many ways. Remember Aboriginal people have only had a few generations to get educated and skilled in operating in 'the system'. Now we have Congress but it's a shadow of its former itself.
Should we delete section 25?
What would we achieve by getting rid of section 25?
Bring the constitution up to date - a long overdue reform
Is there any point in keeping it?
Definitely not
Do you have any other comments?
The issue needs, above all, strong leadership from all sides of politics. The PM and Opposition Leader need to make it a very high priority or it won't happen. Also, don't wait for the Aboriginal community to be in full agreement, it won't happen. Lis
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