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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7665

Commonwealth Constitution

Dear Mrs Wicks

Thank you for your letter of 21 May 2018 regarding Petition EN0528 presented in the House of Representatives on 21 May 2018 seeking an amendment to section 44 of the Constitution. I appreciate the time you have taken to bring this matter to my attention.

Section 128 of the Constitution requires any proposed change to the Constitution to be approved at a national referendum. In order to be effective, a proposed amendment must be supported by a majority of voters overall and by majorities in a majority of States (that is, in four of the six States). These requirements mean that only proposals with very widespread support succeed at a referendum.

The Government is not presently proposing to pursue changes to section 44 of the Constitution. However, the Government is taking active steps to minimise the risk of a recurrence of the eligibility issues that have arisen in the 45th Parliament, including through improvements to the candidate nomination process.

Thank you for raising this matter with me. I trust this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

from the Attorney-General, Mr Porter