The conversation about Australia’s Indigenous Voice to Parliament is at risk from disinformation and conspiracy theories
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On 30 July Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, unveiled the draft wording for an amendment to the Australian Constitution. The amendment would enshrine a body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, which “may make representations to Parliament and the Executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.” The amendment is expected to go to the vote in a referendum sometime in 2023 or 2024.
This is a complex issue with high stakes, deserving of a nuanced, informed and respectful national conversation. Unfortunately, however, before the date has even been announced, it is becoming clear that the lead-up to the vote is likely to be riddled with mis- and disinformation, hate speech and racist conspiracy theories.