Senate debates

Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Questions without Notice

Australian Constitution: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

2:06 pm

Photo of Don FarrellDon Farrell (SA, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Trade and Tourism) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Green for her interest in this area; it's a very important part of our democracy. Yes, I can update you on the issues you raised. After coming to government, the Albanese government funded the AEC to improve Indigenous enrolment. Earlier this year, we acted to remove regulatory barriers and support greater enrolment of eligible Australians.

This has been paying dividends. Last week the Australian Electoral Commission announced that enrolment in Australia has skyrocketed, ahead of the 2023 referendum. National enrolment is now estimated to be at 97.5 per cent—I'll repeat that figure: 97.5 per cent—with over 17.5 million Australians on the electoral roll.

More significantly, enrolment of underrepresented groups is going through the roof. Enrolment of young Australians is over 90 per cent for the first time in the nation's history, and more First Nations Australians are now enrolled than ever before, with enrolment at 94.1 per cent. And remember this: this is up from 80 per cent in June 2022, shortly before we came to government.


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