Anthony Albanese’s message to Aussies planning to vote no in Aboriginal Voices referendum
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a ‘No’ vote in the Aboriginal Voices referendum would be an endorsement of failed policies.
The ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ camps have revealed that they will try to win over voters to their respective sides in the referendum to be held between October and December.
Australia’s Electoral Commission published online the official ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cases for proposed constitutional changes on Tuesday.
Polling shows support for change has waned, but Mr Albanese said a strong case would be made for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice.
He pointed to an eight-year life expectancy gap and statistics showing young Aboriginal men are more likely to go to prison than go to university.
The official rationale for the Aboriginal Voices referendum has been revealed by the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns
“Currently we have met four of the 19 Closing the Gap targets,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“We have to do better – if Australia votes ‘no’, it means business as usual.
‘If you keep doing things the same way, you should expect the same results – we need to do things differently and we need to do it with respect.’
For people to vote ‘for a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all Australians’, the ‘yes’ case has the backing of Aboriginal stars including former tennis world No 1 Yvonne Golgong Cawley, the NRL’s Johnathan Thurston and AFL greats. Eddie Bates.
Thurston said Indigenous youth ‘deserve the opportunity to be the best they can be’.
‘I work closely with school children in the Yarrabah community in Queensland,’ she wrote.
‘I have seen the obstacles they face. No one understands this better than their local community.
‘Their speaking up will mean more of our children reach their potential. Such is the voice.’
Ms Golgong said voting ‘yes’ was an opportunity to ‘help the next generation achieve their dreams’.
‘Let’s seize this moment with both hands,’ he wrote.
The ‘No’ case claims the VOICE proposal goes beyond recognition and represents the ‘biggest change to our constitution in our history’.
‘It is legally risky, with unknown consequences. It shall be divided and permanent,’ it says.
‘If you don’t know, don’t vote.’
Citing several former judges, the main arguments described the voice as a risk, lacking in detail, divisive and impractical for Indigenous Australians.
“This voice has not been road tested” and there is no comparable constitutional body anywhere in the world, it said.
‘A centralized voice risks ignoring the needs of regional and remote communities.’
No campaign spokesman Warren Mundine said he was ‘pretty comfortable’ with the wording of the document but there were some minor inaccuracies.
Mr Mundine said the Prime Minister’s decision not to announce a date for next month’s referendum showed she was looking for some ‘breathing space’ for the Yes campaign.
‘We need a more detailed and more accurate analysis of how this (constitutional change) is going to be the answer to everything,’ he told the ABC.
Liberal MP Julian Leeser, who resigned from the party’s front bench over support for the voice, said there were those in the ‘no’ camp who were distracted from the main argument.
“The arguments we hear today in the ‘No’ case echo many of the arguments we’ve heard at other times in our history,” he told ABC radio.
‘Some of the arguments echo those of 120 years ago against federation.’