PM Anthony Albanese confirms date for Voice to Parliament referendum

Aug 30, 2023
Alongside South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed Australia’s first referendum day since 1999. Source: Getty Images.

Australians have learnt when they will go to the polls to have their say on the Voice to Parliament after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that the referendum will be held on October 14.

Alongside South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas, in the suburb of Elizabeth in Adelaide’s north on Wednesday, August 30, Albanese confirmed Australia’s first referendum day since 1999 to cheers from those who had gathered to witness the historic announcement.

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

“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.”

As Albanese’s impassioned words echoed throughout the crowd, the Prime Minister then revealed when Australians will head to the polls.

“Today, I announce that Referendum day will be the 14th of October,” he revealed.

“On that day every Australian will have a once-in-a-generation chance to bring our country together and to change it for the better.

“To vote for Recognition, Listening and Better Results. And I ask all Australians to vote Yes.

“Referendums come around much less often than elections – this will be the first one this century – and they are very different.

“Because on October 14th, you are not being asked to vote for a political party or for a person.

“You’re being asked to vote for an idea. To say Yes to an idea whose time has come.”

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?

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.

The Australian Electoral Commission will now begin distributing 13 million pamphlets to residences all across Australia, presenting the authorised positions of both the Yes and No campaigns.

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