Neil Mitchell urges the Prime Minister to ‘postpone’ the Voice vote to avoid ‘division and resentment’

Sep 11, 2023
If voted through, The Voice would provide permanent representation and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution. Source: Getty Images.

As support for the Voice referendum continues to plummet, 3AW host Neil Mitchell has called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to “postpone” the vote to avoid further “division”.

Support for the Voice to Parliament continues to slide with the latest Newspoll from The Australian revealing that approximately 53 per cent of respondents do not support the proposed indigenous advisory committee.

The referendum in which Australians will vote on whether or not the government should amend the constitution and include the landmark advisory committee is scheduled to take place on October 14.

However, given recent polling, Mitchell believes it’s time to “call it off”.

“The voice looks beaten unless there is an astonishing surge, it’s beaten in every state except in Tasmania,” he said.

“The latest polls even show Victoria voting against it which is a big change. I think the Prime Minister should call it off. Today might be the last day he can do that but postpone it.

“It would be genuine leadership. Yes, it would be embarrassing but it would be the right thing to do for the country.

“This is my fear if the Voice is beaten, as seems likely, there will be increased division and resentment.

“Delay the vote and sit down with the Opposition and whoever else is necessary to work out a deal. Get recognition of Indigenous people through in the Constitution and find a way to make something like a Voice work in detail.”

The Voice to Parliament is an elected body of First Nations representatives advising the government on the handling of Indigenous issues.

If voted through, The Voice would provide permanent representation and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.

The Voice will be in place to provide advice to the government and would not deliver services, manage government funding, or mediate between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

It is the first proposal contained within the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

While confirming Australia’s first referendum day since 1999, Albanese urged Australians “to say Yes to an idea whose time has come.”

“For many years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have advocated for Constitutional Recognition through a Voice,” Albanese said.

“Our Government – along with every single State and Territory Government – has committed to it. Legal experts have endorsed it.

“People on all sides of the Parliament have backed it. Faith groups and sporting codes and local councils and businesses and unions have embraced it.

“An army of volunteers from every part of this great nation are throwing all their energy behind it.

“Now, my fellow Australians, you can vote for it.

“The idea for a Voice came from the people – and it will be decided by the people.”

When Australians get to the ballot box on October 14 they will be asked to vote either “yes” or “no” to the following question:

A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?


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