This is false. Experts told AAP FactCheck multiple references to race remain in the constitution.
The 1967 referendum amended the constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for Indigenous people and include them in official figures collected for the census.
Another post (archived here) states: “On 27th May 1967, under the Howard Holt Liberal Government 90.77 per cent of Australians voted ‘YES’ in a referendum to remove ‘RACE’ from the constitution and give the Aboriginal Australians the same rights as the rest of the population.”
Experts told AAP FactCheck the 1967 referendum wasn’t about removing race from the constitution.
“One removed Section 127, whereby ‘Aboriginal natives’ were not counted when ‘reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth’,” Dr Piccini said.
“The second altered Section 51 (xxvi) – the race power – to allow the Commonwealth to make ‘special laws’ concerning Aboriginal people.”
The removal of Section 127 ensured Indigenous people would be included in population estimates.
Previously, the Commonwealth could not make laws for Indigenous people (except in the territories) because they were governed by state laws.
The alteration of Section 51 (xxvi) to remove the words “other than the aboriginal race in any State”, allowed the federal parliament to make laws with respect to Indigenous people wherever they lived in Australia.
He pointed to the current version of Section 51 (xxvi), often referred to as the race power, which gives parliament the power to make laws for “the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws”.
For example, Dr Piccini said this power allowed the Commonwealth to make laws such as the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901, which resulted in the deportation of Pacific Islander farm workers recruited under the ‘blackbirding‘ trade, which enslaved people using deception or force.
Prof Williams said the referendum also did not affect Section 25 of the constitution, which is titled ‘Provisions as to races disqualified from voting’.
“Section 25 continues to contemplate that the states will disenfranchise people from voting in their elections on the basis of their race,” he said.
“The bottom line is: the 1967 referendum did not remove references to race from the constitution. They persist in the document to the current day.”
RMIT FactLab debunked the same claim here.
AAP FactCheck has previously addressed claims race is never mentioned in the constitution here.
Claims the 1967 referendum removed race from the constitution are false.
The referendum amended the constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they had previously been governed by state laws.
It also removed a section of the constitution to allow Indigenous people to be counted in population estimates. Experts told AAP FactCheck race remains in the constitution – in Section 51 (xxvi) and Section 25.
False – The claim is inaccurate.