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Opposition leader Peter Dutton demands more details on how the Voice will operate

PM Anthony Albanese isn't revealing how the Voice will work, says Peter Dutton, who wants to know how members will be elected. <i>Photo: AAP</i>

PM Anthony Albanese isn't revealing how the Voice will work, says Peter Dutton, who wants to know how members will be elected. Photo: AAP

Ignoring divisions in the Coalition about the Voice referendum, opposition leader Peter Dutton has stepped up his demand for more details, saying Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is treating Australians “like mugs”.

In an open letter to Anthony Albanese he has called on him to introduce the Voice model to parliament before it heads to a referendum.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney had addressed the lack of detail last week, rejecting criticism as “rubbish” while also declining the nuts and bolts of the proposed Voice.

Mr Dutton said the government risked losing the referendum should they not let the public know exactly what it was voting for.

“People have got reasonable questions,” he told reporters on Sunday.

‘A very serious decision’

“There are many Australians, if they had detail in front of them about a particular model, they could support the Voice.

“You can’t just say to the Australian public as the Prime Minister, ‘you vote at an election … on a Saturday and we’ll give you the detail on the Monday’.

“It’s a very serious decision to change our Constitution.”

Mr Dutton said his major queries were how the advisory body would be composed, how it would function on a regional basis and how it would tackle issues in the most remote areas.

He said he had met regularly with the Prime Minister to discuss how the nation could best take forward Closing the Gap measures.

“I’m grateful for the meetings we’ve had and he knows I am genuinely interested in advancing the cause of reconciliation,” Mr Dutton said.

“It breaks my heart that in 2023 we can have young Indigenous kids being sexually assaulted on a regular basis.

“But the PM has to explain how the Voice will make it better for those kids, make it better for Indigenous people around the country.”

Ms Burney used her speech at the Woodford Folk Festival late last month to again outline the broad principles underlying the voice model.

“It provides independent advice to the parliament and government, is chosen by First Nations people based on the wishes of local communities, it is representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australian communities,” she said.

“A vote for the Voice in 2023 will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are heard on issues and policies that affect us in our communities, in practical areas like education, health, and housing.”

Mr Dutton’s call comes as the Liberal Party seeks to determine its position on the voice, after Coalition partners the Nationals formally opposed the referendum.

MP Andrew Gee quit the party over that stance, opting to shift to the cross bench.

The government has indicated a referendum will be held in the second half of the year.

-with AAP

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