Prime minister Tony Abbott committed his new government to a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution ahead of the 2013 election, saying he would put forward a draft amendment within twelve months of taking office.

On Tuesday, minister for Indigenous affairs Nigel Scullion indicated that the government is likely to delay any formal discussion on the referendum until at least 2017.

Noel Pearson, a lawyer, activist and chairman of the Cape York Partnership, has written about a new approach to Indigenous recognition via and a new constitution in the latest Quarterly Essay.