Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, has described the Voice to Parliament as a vital step toward reconciliation at this week’s Council meeting.
The Council this week engaged in public debate about the upcoming Referendum to recognise First Nations People in the Australian Constitution.
In a statement at Wednesday’s meeting, Mayor Bleasdale outlined what he said were the practical outcomes that come from listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“A voice to Parliament is the next great step, a vital step toward Reconciliation. This is unfinished business in Blacktown City – just as it is across Australia,” he said.
Blacktown City is home to more than 12,000 First Nations people.
Mayor Bleasdale spoke at length about his passion for reconciliation and the vital role a Voice to Parliament for First Nations people will play in the journey towards it.
“If we practically listen to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities – it is logical – we can more efficiently identify and seek to address the changes that are needed, for First Nations people and for all of our residents,” he said.
“As leader of the biggest city in NSW, it’s clear we have a clear role to play. It’s simple, we must listen and vote yes to make sure First Nations People know we will always be listening.”
In 2022, Mayor Bleasdale co-signed a statement with 36 other Australian Mayors stating, “Our citizens should be informed about what constitutional recognition through a voice to parliament will mean for Indigenous people and Australian society as a whole … We believe that a successful referendum can be a unifying achievement for Australia.”
On Wednesday, the Mayor committed to “passionately speaking about The Voice wherever [I] can” in the weeks leading up to the 14 October vote.
“I invite everyone, all in Blacktown, to join with me on that journey,” Mayor Bleasdale said.