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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The ALP laid out an extensive First Nations policy platform during the 2022 election campaign. The majority of items in this platform are budget commitments (which will usually not require legislation, except for a Budget appropriations bill), executive actions (such as establishing an Ambassador for First Nations, or negotiating new National Partnership Agreements) and commitments to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a constitutional Voice to Parliament. Constitutional change requires a Bill to be passed by Parliament, but as a referendum must be held within six months of a constitutional amendment bill passing, it is likely this would not occur without extensive preparation for a referendum first taking place.

This paper considers what might also appear in the new government’s legislative and ministerial Indigenous Australians agenda, by listing what is already ‘on the table’. This includes:

  • Measures in the ALP’s First Nations policy platform which are likely to require legislation
  • Unresolved issues before the 46th Parliament, particularly those with some bipartisan support, which lapsed when the 2022 election was called
  • Reports and inquiries not fully responded to by recent Coalition governments, or about which the ALP indicated at the time that they believed the government response was inadequate, eg relevant reports of the former House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs (HORSCIA), the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and others
  • Still-relevant measures advanced by the Gillard/Rudd ALP government, which were terminated, abandoned or lapsed after the 2013 election.

A short overview, including relevant sources, is given for each potential measure.

This list is not exhaustive, and does not imply any commitment by the incoming government, or knowledge of their policy intentions by the author, other than those measures listed in the ALP’s election policy platform. It does reflect measures about which significant policy work already exists, which may therefore be adopted relatively quickly by an incoming government, or advanced by members of the 47th Parliament.

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