The campaigns for and against the Indigenous Voice to Parliament are making their final arguments before Saturday’s referendum.
The ‘Yes’ campaign’s push includes the Prime Minister travelling across the country to garner support for the advisory body, and has enlisted the help of the Father of Reconciliation to make the campaign’s case.
Yawuru Senator Pat Dodson fronted the National Press Club on Thursday and said a ‘No’ result would be a “very sad outcome” and would lead to a “legacy of lies.”
“Do we want to leave a legacy that we stand for supporting lies?
That there are no Aboriginal people here and there’s no need to recognise them? Is that what we’re going to stand for?”
That’s the burden the Australian people have to weigh up when they cast their vote.
Do you want to go forward? Or do you want to go backwards? Or do you want to do nothing?
Do you want to look yourself in the mirror and have pride the next day, or have some doubts, uncertainties, and even an increase in shame?”
Meanwhile Gunnai/Gunditjmara/Djab Wurrung Senator Lidia Thorpe is campaigning against the advisory body as part of the progressive ‘No’ movement.
She has told the ABC if the ‘No’ vote is successful she’ll count it as a win for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
“It’ll be a beginning of a real healing journey and a truth-telling journey, that this country must take before anybody makes any decisions on us without us.”
She says she backs a legislated voice instead.
While Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, says a ‘Yes’ outcome would be stacked in the Federal governments favour.
“This bipartisan sort of kumbaya moment that the Prime Minister speaks of is actually skewed in the government’s favour.
“If that committee is to be formed as a result of the ‘yes’ vote being successful, if that’s what happens on Saturday, will there be equal numbers?
Not this stacked arrangement which includes the Labor Party and the green teals and Greens. They all vote as a bloc.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has criticised Dutton for politicising every aspect of the Voice and has called for bipartisanship if the ‘Yes’ vote pulls through.
“If there is a ‘Yes’ vote, what I’ll do is convene a joint parliamentary committee jointly chaired by someone from the Labor Party, someone from the Coalition, to develop and finalise the legislation that is required to establish a Voice.”
So far over four million people have already pre polled for Saturday’s referendum.