A referendum is a vote used to approve a change to the Australian Constitution.
Ideas for changes to the Constitution can be put forward by members of parliament, interest groups or individuals. If the idea gains support in the Australian community, a movement towards a referendum may begin.
To become a referendum, the proposed change must be supported by a member or members of parliament, who will present it to the federal Parliament in the form of a bill (proposed law). If the bill is passed by the Parliament, the proposal must then be presented to the Australian people for approval in a referendum.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is responsible for running votes on referendums. The vote must take place no sooner than two months and no later than six months after the bill is passed by the Parliament.
To find out more about referendums, including the requirements for a successful referendum, check out this fact sheet.