PM remains a large, immovable object

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has again ruled out holding a referendum on the proposal to enshrine an Indigenous voice to Federal Parliament in the Constitution.

Quizzed by Indigenous lawyer Teela Reid on the ABC’s Q&A program this week, Mr Turnbull said the idea “would have no prospect of success whatsoever”.

He said it was “the view of every member of Parliament that I’ve discussed this with”.

“People that don’t tell you the truth are misleading you – what I’m telling you is the truth,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. And if it were put up in a referendum it would go down in flames. That’s my view.”

Mr Turnbull said a voice to Parliament would effectively become a third chamber of Parliament, with every piece of legislation having to go through the body.

The Prime Minister was the sole guest on the program and was quizzed about issues from same-sex marriage to climate change.

A voice to Parliament was a central part of the Uluru Statement from the Heart delivered by Indigenous leaders in May.

The Turnbull Government’s decision not to act on the call has been described by Aboriginal leaders as a kick in the guts for Indigenous Australians.

Wendy Caccetta

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