FILE - Stedman Sailor stands in front of the Aboriginal Australian Flag as he arrives with other members of the Aboriginal community to take part in a smoking ceremony as part of Australia Day celebrations in Sydney, Jan. 26, 2018. Australia’s House of Representatives voted overwhelming on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in favor of holding a referendum this year on creating a so-called Indigenous Voice to Parliament, an advocate that promises the nation’s most disadvantaged ethnic minority more say on policies that effect their lives. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

Australians to vote in a referendum on Indigenous Voice to Parliament on Oct. 14

CANBERRA, Australia –

Australians will vote on Oct. 14 on a proposed law to create a so-called Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the nation’s first referendum in a generation.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday announced the referendum date, triggering just over six weeks of intensifying campaigning by both sides of the argument.

The referendum would enshrine in the constitution an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, a collection of advocates aimed at giving the nation’s most disadvantaged ethnic minority more say on government policy.

Australia has not held a referendum since 1999 and a referendum has not passed since 1977.

No referendum has ever passed without bipartisan support and the major parties remain divided over the Voice.