Support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament has plummeted to its lowest point just weeks before Australians head to the polls for the historic referendum.
The latest Newspoll, conducted between September 18 and 22, reveals that only 36 percent of the 1239 surveyed voters intend to vote “Yes” on October 14.
This represents a two-point decline in support in just three weeks, marking a significant setback for the proposal. Meanwhile, opposition to the Indigenous Voice has surged to 56 percent, making it a pivotal issue leading up to the referendum.
Scheduled for October 14, the referendum will determine whether the Australian government should amend the constitution to establish the advisory committee known as the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. This body, comprised of elected First Nations representatives, would provide crucial advice to the government on matters related to Indigenous affairs.
If the referendum passes, it would signify a permanent commitment to recognising and representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Australian Constitution. It is important to note that the Indigenous Voice to Parliament would primarily offer advice to the government and would not be responsible for service delivery or managing government funding.
The proposal is the first step outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The “Yes” campaign faces the challenge of securing a national majority of votes and the majority of votes in at least four of Australia’s six states to amend the constitution successfully.
As support continues to slide, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued a passionate plea while underscoring the profound significance of the “Yes” vote in a recent opinion piece, urging Australians to grasp the power it holds for the future.
“Voting Yes won’t fix everything overnight, but it will mean we finally have the right approach in place to start finding the answers,” he said.
“Let’s be clear about the alternative. Voting No means nothing changes.
“Voting No means closing the door on practical progress that will help people live better lives.
“The worst of times tend to bring out the best in Australians. Now the people who confront the worst of circumstances every day are appealing to the best in us, and offering Australia a way ahead.
“We can take up that offer by voting Yes and making a change for the better. Together.
“When Yes wins, all Australians will win.”
The Voice will deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
And we’ve just announced that on October 14, you’ll have the chance to vote for it. pic.twitter.com/mJFWGhiNpU
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) August 30, 2023
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?
In the lead up to the historic vote, millions of pamphlets have begun to make their way to residences all across Australia, presenting the authorised positions of both the Yes and No campaigns.