Local News

PM indigenous voice caution 'understandable'

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Former deputy Liberals Party leader Fred Chaney says the prime minister is being understandably cautious in not committing to a referendum question on an indigenous voice to parliament without consulting his party room further.

On the weekend Labor Leader Bill Shorten committed to a constitutionally- enshrined indigenous advisory body at Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land, but Malcolm Turnbull said more consideration of the Referendum Council's reform proposals was needed.

Mr Chaney says Mr Turnbull "probably went as far as he could go in the circumstances", and was being realistic in describing an end of year referendum question deadline as ambitious.

© AAP

IMAGE/Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) and Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion with dancers from the Gumatj clan during the Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land (AAP Image/Peter Eve, Yothu Yindi Foundation)