Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney has declared there was "nothing to be feared", as she welcomed the next step towards the Voice to Parliament referendum.
Ms Burney spoke alongside members of the Referendum Working Group and Referendum Engagement Group after Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus introduced the constitutional alteration for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the House of Representatives.
If passed, the legislation triggers the holding of a referendum later this year proposing that a Voice to Parliament be enshrined in the constitution. The proposed referendum question, contained in the bill, also formally recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia.
Ms Burney said convincing Australians to vote "yes" at the referendum came down to two things: recognition and consultation.
"It's about completing our nation's birth certificate by recognising the extraordinary history that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to this country, that is everyone's heritage, 65,000 years," she said.
"The second message is that every single person in this country would acknowledge that the life outcomes for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in this country are completely unacceptable.
"They're the two messages: recognition and consultation and there's nothing to be feared."
Opposition leader Peter Dutton and a significant number of Coalition frontbenchers were not present for the bill's introduction.
Nationals leader David Littleproud, Barnaby Joyce, Michael McCormack and Karen Andrews were there but did not join the standing ovation. Opposition Indigenous Australians spokesman and shadow attorney-general Julian Leeser was also present.
Mr Dutton was asked about his non-attendance during a later interview on Sydney radio 2GB, but he quickly shifted the conversation to his long running argument that the Prime Minister is not answering his questions about the Voice.
He claimed millions of Australians have questions.
"They want to know what the Voice is about and what will it mean if it goes to the High Court? It's obvious now that it applies to all areas of public policy," he told the host Ray Hadley.
Mr Albanese has branded the argument an unfounded scare campaign, and has stated that the Parliament will have primacy over the Voice. Proponents of the Voice also say that there is a lot of information available and they have accused the opposition leader of delay tactics.
Ms Burney told reporters at the press conference, "Now there will always be those that seek to hold us back. Those wreckers, they want to hold Australia back. We want to take Australia forward."
Mr Dutton is calling on the Albanese government to publish the legal advice from the commonwealth's top legal adviser, the Solicitor-General, surrounding the Voice proposition. The Prime Minister and Attorney-General are resisting this.
"It just doesn't make any sense and if you want people to vote for it, then explain to him what it is. Explain to the people what it is that you're voting for," Mr Dutton said.
The Solicitor-General reportedly told the referendum working group that the constitutional wording for the Voice posed "limited legal risk" and he did not recommend removing the ability to lobby the executive branch of government.
The Constitutional Alteration Bill has now been sent to a parliamentary committee to be considered. This is expected to take up to six weeks and then it can be voted on in the House of Representatives.
Mr Dreyfus, introducing the legislation, said, "It is a time for a different approach, it is time for a new chapter, it is time to listen."
Passage of the legislation through the Parliament will allow a referendum to be held between October and December.
"Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our founding legal document and listening to their views on laws and policies that matter to them will make a difference," Mr Dreyfus said.
The Albanese government committed during the election campaign to hold a referendum to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution.
In his speech introducing the bill, Mr Dreyfus, urged Australians to consider the advisory body as "an opportunity for a better future".
"The Uluru Statement from the Heart was issued to the people of Australia, not to the government," Mr Dreyfus said.
"It is now time for the Australian people to decide whether to accept that offer when they vote in this referendum.
"I trust the Australian people to understand that this is an opportunity for a better future, not just for the first peoples of Australia, but for all Australians."
The introduction of the bill was received by a standing ovation by most of the MPs in the chamber, and in the public gallery.