New book says the Uluru Statement is ’15 pages’ even though Anthony Albanese only claims there is only one
A new book written by two campaigners for the Voice to Parliament says the Uluru Statement from the Heart is multiple pages, despite Anthony Albanese repeatedly claiming it’s only one page.
In their newly released book ‘Our Voices from the Heart’, Indigenous activists and Uluru Dialogue co-chairs Professor Megan Davis and Patricia Anderson explain that the statement is 15 pages’.
‘The Statement was drafted and overwhelmingly endorsed by the Convention’s delegates,’ it reads.
‘It is 15 pages long and includes three elements: the one-page pitch to the Australian people; ‘our story’ of the First Nations history of Australia; and the explanation of the legal reform.’
The debate over the length of the Uluru Statement has been a prominent topic in discussions about the Voice to Parliament.
The longer version of the document includes calls for a treaty, reparations, ‘rent’ to be paid, a reconsideration of land rights and a re-writing of Australia’s history.
It also raised Aboriginal sovereignty, saying ‘the unfinished business of Australia’s nationhood includes recognising the ancient jurisdictions of First Nations law.’
These arguments were not included in the final statement, however critics are concerned they will be topics that the Voice to Parliament will be interested in pursuing.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has previously described claims about a longer version of the Uluru Statement as a conspiracy theory.
Last month, when asked if he had read the longer version of the Uluru Statement, Mr Albanese responded, ‘Why would I’.
Before the controversy arose, Professor Davis had, on at least one occasion, mentioned an ’18-page’ version of the document and Aussies to thoroughly review the entire document.
However, in more recent times, Professor Davis has dismissed the idea of an extended version of the document as ‘disinformation.’
In a statement released on behalf of Professor Davis and Ms Anderson, who represent the Uluru Dialogue, a spokesperson clarified: ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart consists of just one page.’
‘This one-page, 439-word statement – described as ‘the one-page pitch to the Australian people’ in the book you are referring to – and supporting documents that reflect and record the many regional dialogues and consultation leading up to it have been public for seven years. They are found on the Referendum Council website,’ a spokesperson said.
‘We are not surprised that the No campaign want to focus on anything but the question that is before the Australian people, which is about recognition and a Voice.
‘When you listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on matters that affect them, you get better outcomes for their communities.’
Yes campaigners and officials have repeatedly insisted the Uluru Statement from the Heart ‘respects the primacy of parliament’ and that all decision making power will ultimately fall on politicians of the day to negotiate.
The referendum would ensure that an advisory body – the Voice to Parliament – would be constitutionally enshrined, and there would be no way for a future government to abolish it.
Mr Albanese has repeatedly said Labor is committed to adopting the Uluru Statement from the Heart ‘in full’, i.e. the single-page statement.
Confusion around the Voice and Mr Albanese’s handling of the impending referendum has hurt him and the Yes vote at the polls.
The latest Newspoll revealed support for the Voice is plummeting only weeks out from the October 14 referendum.
Only 38 per cent of the population planning to vote Yes and 53 per cent is tracking to vote No in the poll, which was conducted for The Australian.
It’s first time support for the No vote has risen to an outright majority.
In another recent poll, Victoria was the only state that backed a Yes vote.
The Yes campaign will need a majority of Australians and a majority in at least four of the six states in order to succeed.
Only eight of 44 referendums have succeeded in Australia’s 122 year history – all with bipartisan support.
Meanwhile, a Resolve Political Monitor poll from last month saw Labor’s primary vote drop to just four percentage points ahead of the Coalition
The government fell from 39 to 37 per cent, while the opposition boosted its vote by three percentage points to 33 per cent.
Mr Albanese remains the preferred prime minister with 46 per cent of voters, a five per cent drop from July.