Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia will vote as scheduled, despite a last-ditch appeal from the Opposition to scrap the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. Source: Yahoo News.
Mr Albanese returned from a series of overseas summits yesterday and told Parliament the referendum would go ahead on October 14.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton urged Mr Albanese to scrap the vote to avoid dividing the nation.
Governor-General David Hurley issued the referendum writ yesterday after a meeting of the executive council in Canberra.
Overall support has slid to new lows with every state except Tasmania set to vote No to a constitutionally-enshrined consultative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A Resolve Political Monitor survey, published in Nine newspapers yesterday, showed 43 per cent of voters supported a plan to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution, down 20 percentage points from a year ago.
A successful referendum will require a Yes vote from more than 50 per cent of voters in four of the six states.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said there were still many undecided voters who could be convinced to vote Yes, adding the purely consultative body with no veto power was “a lot less scary than some of the No campaign are making it out to be”.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie said the Government had “failed miserably” in its bid to sell the positives of the Voice and provide detail.
Postal voting opened at 6pm last night and applications close on October 11.
The electoral roll closes seven days after writs are issued, meaning people have a week to ensure they’re enrolled.
Hundreds of early voting centres will be available from October 2, with centres to open in the ACT, NSW, Queensland and South Australia a day later due to a public holiday.
Polling day locked in despite voice support slipping (By Kat Wong, Tess Ikonomou and Dominic Giannini, AAP via Yahoo News)