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PM brushes off Voice poll as ‘yes’ campaign ramps up

Anthony Albanese is in WA on the eve of revealing the vote date for the Indigenous voice referendum.

Anthony Albanese is in WA on the eve of revealing the vote date for the Indigenous voice referendum. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has brushed off polling showing a fall in support for the ‘yes’ vote for the Indigenous Voice referendum.

The latest Newspoll released on Sunday showed the ‘no’ vote at 47 per cent and the ‘yes’ side on 43 per cent.

The survey queried 2303 voters between June 16-24.

Despite the poll, Mr Albanese said he remained optimistic of the referendum’s success, with it due to be held between October and December.

“It’s always easier in a referendum to put a ‘no’ argument out there, and that’s why the success rate is something like eight out of 48 [referendums],” he told Seven’s Sunrise program on Monday.

“I’m very confident that Australians will embrace that opportunity to say ‘yes’ in the referendum in the last quarter of this year.”

The poll results came as community organisations are poised to host events in support of the Voice, as part of an effort to shift debate away from politicians

The Yes 23 campaign will provide one-off grants of up to $15,000 to encourage further engagement and conversations about the importance of a successful referendum.

It’s hoped the grants will assist regional and rural community groups to run ‘yes’ activities and forums.

Indigenous community organisations have also been encouraged to apply for financial assistance.

Yes 23 campaign director Dean Parkin said hundreds of community events supporting a ‘yes’ vote had already been held and the fund would support more conversations across Australia.

“It is about ensuring people, no matter where they live, can get informed about how a Voice will give Indigenous people a real say on how to fix unique challenges across areas such as health, housing and education,” he said.

Voice campaign kicks up, as legislation passes parliament

Thousands of ‘yes’ events are expected to be held before referendum day.

There are more than 100 active community-based ‘yes’ groups and almost 10,000 volunteers.

More than 500 organisations, including businesses, faith groups and sporting bodies, have already confirmed their support of the ‘yes’ campaign.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton maintains Australians are not ready to vote for the Voice, as proposed, because there are unanswered questions about how the advisory body will work.

But Mr Albanese said recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution was unfinished business.

“People will really focus on this when the campaign is actually on. They’ll focus, they’ll have a look at what the words are being put forward,” he said.

“They’ll recognise the great benefit that will come from this and that there really isn’t a downside.”

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said support would grow for the Indigenous voice after debate moved out of parliament.

“We are going to win this referendum through millions of conversations that happen around people’s kitchen tables and on their doorsteps,” she told ABC Radio on Monday.

“It is very hard to get a referendum passed in this country and what we need to do now is having those millions of conversations that are going to switch hearts and minds.”

– AAP

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