PM takes aim at ‘ludicrous’ anti-Voice claims

Australians are being underestimated by “doomsayers” promoting scare campaigns about the Indigenous voice to parliament, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will say at the Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration in Adelaide tonight.

Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Albanese’s speech is expected to take aim at opponents of the voice and reiterate his confidence that the referendum will succeed.

“Yes, there are scare campaigns. What those campaigns have in common is that they underestimate Australians so radically,” Albanese will say.

“Claims have been made that the voice to parliament could even have an effect on parking tickets.

“It’s only a matter of time before they tell us that the voice will fade the curtains.

“Australians won’t succumb to their appeals to fear and their ever more ludicrous invitations to jump at our own shadows.

“That’s because Australians have a healthy scepticism of doomsayers, a scepticism kept in good health by memories of all the predictions offered by the Chicken Littles of the past.”

Concerns about dwindling support for the voice were highlighted in a recent poll showing the vote for the ‘yes’ campaign had dropped into the low 50s.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton last week said the proposal would take the country backwards, labelling it Orwellian and a reckless roll of the dice.

Prominent ‘yes’ campaigner Noel Pearson has warned a rejection of the voice would put an end to reconciliation in Australia.

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Speaking during National Reconciliation Week, Albanese will describe the referendum as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to unify the nation and make a positive, lasting change for future generations.

In doing so, Australia would project to the world as a “mature nation coming to terms with our history, assured of our values and shaping our own destiny”.

“None of us has anything to lose. But we have something wonderful and so very real to gain,” he will say.

“And in the end, it will lift all of us.

“I believe we will rise with a stronger sense of ourselves. A great nation that has dared to become greater – not just to ourselves but to the world.”

The referendum is slated to be held in October or November this year.

-with AAP

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