Sunday, 15 October 2023
Media Statement on Voice Referendum
MEDIA STATEMENT ON VOICE REFERENDUM
The Australian people have spoken and thoroughly rejected the proposition put forward by the Prime Minister.
I’m saddened for our nation that the referendum has created so much division and the person behind that division was the leader of our country.
The Prime Minister wouldn’t listen to the concerns raised by the Coalition or anyone else who had a different view. Hawke was known as the reformer, Keating the destroyer, will this Prime Minister be known as the great divider? Only history will tell.
People desperately wanted detail, it wasn’t provided, people wanted to know how the proposed Voice would make a difference to Aboriginal Australians and again, there was no information.
The cost of the referendum is estimated to be about $450 million with Federal Labor allocating $364 million in the most recent budget for the referendum.
That money could have been invested in helping Aboriginal Australians, but instead it was spent on the Prime Minister and the Labor Party’s vanity project.
I want to thank all of the volunteers, especially those that might never have campaigned before, who came out and showed their support. It shows that grass root campaigns are still effective, and people want to be involved.
The National Party came to a position very early on the proposed Voice and it was always a values-based decision: you don’t split the country, in Australia everyone gets an equal say in our democracy and I am heartened that the Australian people listened to that message.
It’s up to all of us now to put the country back together and do what needs to be done.