New inquiry into constitutional change in modern age

Department of the House of Representatives

A parliamentary inquiry has been established to consider new ideas to engage and inform Australians about the Constitution and to examine the way in which referendums are conducted in Australia.

The Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, Mr Andrew Wallace MP, said the inquiry would be an opportunity for a fresh look at the process of constitutional reform in Australia.

‘The period since 1999 has been the longest in Australia’s history without a referendum to change the Australian Constitution, so there will be many Australians of voting age who have no experience of voting in a referendum’, Mr Wallace said.

‘The Committee is keen to consider suggestions to involve more Australians in a conversation about the Constitution, including how best to consult the community on proposals for constitutional change before they are put to a referendum. The Committee will also consider the need to modernise the way in which referendums are conducted to ensure it remains appropriate in contemporary Australia’.

‘The inquiry is not about specific changes to the Constitution, but about ensuring that as a nation we can have informed discussion and debate about any proposals for constitutional change, and a fit-for-purpose referendum process to decide on them’.

The Committee is accepting written submissions of no more than 4000 words until 6 August 2021.

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