It's more than 12 years since the last attempt to amend Australia's constitution, the ill-fated republic referendum of 1999. But now another attempt is in prospect, after the Gillard government yesterday received and apparently endorsed the final report of an expert panel on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution.

I certainly wouldn't vote for the amendments the panel has produced, but that's mostly for a reason quite unrelated to indigenous Australians.