Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a 2014 New Year Message in which he says he will “start the conversation” about recognising the first Australians in the Constitution.
In relation to indigenous recognition, Abbott said: “I will also start the conversation about a constitutional referendum to recognise the first Australians. This would complete our Constitution rather than change it.”
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Text of media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
If ever we should enter a New Year full of optimism, it is 2014.
We are a strong, resilient and smart people.
That’s the strength of our country. Not so much government, but in the willingness of you – the people – to better your life.
This is the year, I hope more of us than ever will ‘have a go’ – we’ll start new businesses, we’ll build new houses, we’ll undertake further study, make investments and plan a future: because that’s how we build the stronger and more prosperous country that we all want.
The Government will do its part: we are scrapping bad taxes, we’re cutting red and green tape, we’re ending waste, we’re building infrastructure and strengthening the Budget.
My plan is to give you more choice, more freedom and fewer government demands – so that you can build a better future for yourself and for our country.
A strong country always has a deep appreciation of its history and this year we commence the commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac and I hope that you will take part.
I will also start the conversation about a constitutional referendum to recognise the first Australians. This would complete our Constitution rather than change it.
We are a great country and a great people. We believe in family, in community; in doing things for love, not just money; and living our ideals.
May we all be nearer to our best selves in 2014, government included.
So Happy New Year Australia.