Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Monday that he would prioritize engaging in one-on-one conversations with Australians to garner support for the Indigenous referendum. This comes as early voting has already commenced in certain parts of the country.
On October 14, Australians will participate in a significant referendum to determine whether they approve of amending the constitution to establish an Indigenous advisory body known as the “Voice to Parliament.” This body would provide advice on matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Although Albanese’s Labor government supports the proposal, recent opinion polls indicate that it is struggling to gain majority support. Some voters who have changed their stance expressed concerns that the Voice is diverting attention from their primary concerns, such as the cost of living and housing expenses.
To rally support, Albanese emphasized the importance of focusing on the referendum question amidst the distractions. He believes that if Australians truly understand the question, they will vote in favor of it, and there is no reason to fear this campaign.
Albanese stated, “I genuinely believe that the key to success in the next two weeks lies in having personal conversations with individuals, accepting the request of the overwhelming majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” He made these remarks in Melbourne, where early voting began on Monday.
Early voting for the referendum will commence on Tuesday in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Reporting by Stella Qiu; Editing by Lincoln Feast.
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