• Aboriginal indigenous leader Noel Pearson speaks at the National Press Club in Canberra, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AAP)Source: AAP
Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson wants to resurrect a plan for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice in Australia's parliament.
29 May 2018 - 10:06 AM  UPDATED 29 May 2018 - 10:07 AM

An outspoken Aboriginal leader wants a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice in parliament before the next election.

Noel Pearson wants to resurrect the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Voice to Parliament with bipartisan support, he told ABC's Patricia Karvelas on Sunday night.

"Bipartisanship is crucial for referendum success. We should have a voice that is enshrined in the constitution," he said.

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The Turnbull government rejected the call for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice in parliament about a year ago and labelled it as a "third chamber".

In a joint statement last year, the Prime Minister, Attorney-General George Brandis and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said “The Turnbull Government has carefully considered the Referendum Council’s call to amend the Constitution to provide for a national Indigenous representative assembly to constitute a ‘Voice to Parliament’”.

“The Government does not believe such an addition to our national representative institutions is either desirable or capable of winning acceptance in a referendum,” the statement read.

Mr Pearson said a committee, headed by Labor senator Pat Dodson and Liberal MP Julian Leeser, needed to consider the first idea and an alternative akin to an "idea of small platoons" rather than being a monolithic organisation.

He said a declaration to run alongside the constitution would "define a mutual agreement of who we are as Australians" in three parts: Indigenous, British institutions and multiculturalism.

"The opportunity to achieve proper recognition is the one before us," Mr Pearson said.

"It has to be done before the next election."

With AAP

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