Albanese takes aim at Indigenous Voice ‘doomsdayers’

Australians are being underestimated by “doomsayers” promoting scare campaigns about the Indigenous voice to parliament, Anthony Albanese says.

The prime minister will on Monday deliver the Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration in Adelaide, where he is expected to take aim at opponents of the Voice and reiterate his confidence that the referendum will succeed.

“Yes, there are scare campaigns. What those campaigns have in common is that they underestimate Australians so radically,” Mr Albanese will say.

“Claims have been made that the Voice to Parliament could even have an effect on parking tickets.

“Australians won’t succumb to their appeals to fear and their ever more ludicrous invitations to jump at our own shadows.

“That’s because Australians have a healthy scepticism of doomsayers, a scepticism kept in good health by memories of all the predictions offered by the Chicken Littles of the past.”

Concerns about dwindling support for the Voice were highlighted in a recent poll showing the vote for the ‘yes’ campaign had dropped into the low 50s.

Prominent ‘yes’ campaigner Noel Pearson has warned a rejection of the Voice would put an end to reconciliation in Australia.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton last week said the proposal would take the country backwards, labelling it Orwellian and a reckless roll of the dice.

Indigenous leader and prominent advocate for a ‘no’ vote, Warren Mundine, backed Mr Dutton’s comments last week saying he was “spot on”.

“This is starting to get into a really disgraceful campaign and the campaign hasn’t even started yet,” he told the ABC on Monday.

“This referendum is dividing Australia and you see it in the polling, and you see it out in the community.”

Liberal Senator James Paterson said the Voice was a “constitutional risk” and would treat people differently because of racial characteristics.

“That is offensive to liberal principles when we are all human beings and we’re all Australian and we should be all treated equally before the law,” he told the ABC.

Senator Paterson said it was unfair to single out Mr Dutton for criticism.

Independent senator Lidia Thorpe said the Voice did not have enough power to be effective.

“In 1967, more than 90% of people voted yes in the referendum to include First Nations mob in the constitution, but what difference did it actually make to Blak lives?” she wrote on Twitter.

“In 2023, some people are talking about the voice like it will be a solution to everything, when really, it has no more power than any other advisory body.”

Nationals Leader David Littleproud said his party had a culture of allowing divergent views, and respected Liberal MPs who supported the voice.

“I don’t think that we are an impediment to the Liberal Party in metropolitan Australia,” he told Sky News.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said it was important discussions about the Voice remained civil and did not “descend into a racial debate”.

The referendum is expected to be held between October and November this year.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.