Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has concluded his campaign for the Voice to Parliament by lashing out over a question about what happens to the Uluru Statement from the Heart should Australia vote No.
During a final campaign plea at Balmain Public School alongside his partner Jodie Haydon, the PM was asked whether he would still fulfil his promise to implement the statement if the Yes campaign lost.
A visibly irritated Mr Albanese hit out: ‘Once again, from from the media, we get a question sent through looking to talk about something that this referendum isn’t about.
‘Can we concentrate between now and 6pm on what people are voting for?
‘Can we just do that? That is an example – I’m not – not personal here – but that is an example of what’s been happening’.
More than 7000 booths opened across six states and the two mainland territories at 8am on Saturday and will remain available for Australians to cast their vote right until 6pm.
The Yes campaign requires both a national majority – a majority vote of the entire Australian voting population – and a majority of four of the six states in order to win the referendum.
Mr Albanese is expected to address the nation no matter what the outcome of the poll.
A Newspoll on Saturday found a late swing to the Yes campaign of three per cent – up to 37 points – but that the nation is likely to vote No, which polled at 57 per cent.
The Prime Minister launched a final Voice campaign sprint across multiple NSW polling booths flanked by his son Nathan, 22, and partner Jodie Haydon on Saturday
Mr Albanese campaigns with his partner Jodie Haydon at a voting booth in Dapto, near Wollongong, NSW, on Saturday
Vote No campaigners are seen canvassing outside a polling centre in Bondi, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, on Saturday
Polling booths are open across the country until 6pm
The PM also appeared emotional as he addressed reporters, volunteers and voters at the polling booth to mark the historic day and make a final plea for Australians to vote Yes in the referendum.
‘This is not a radical proposition,’ he said.
‘This is a hand outstretched in friendship from the First Australians to every Australian, just asking for it to be grasped in that spirit of reconciliation and friendship.’
He used the opportunity to poke holes in the No campaign, claiming they have no ‘legitimate critique’ of the referendum.
‘There has been a lot of nonsense said over recent months during this campaign,’ he said.
‘The fact that the No campaign wants to talk about everything but what is on the ballot paper says that there is no legitimate critique of what people are actually voting for.’
Lidia Thorpe’s fiery statement
Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe lashed a fiery statement after casting her vote for the Voice referendum in Melbourne
The progressive No campaigner, and ‘Blak Sovereign’ movement representative, said it was a sad day.
She said the only suitable outcome from this referendum was a No vote and said she’d like to see Australia move towards treaty rather than an Voice enshrined in our Constitution.
‘Racism is a cancer. Racism is a illness, it makes people sick. So this referendum has shown where the cancer is in this country, and where we need to heal this country where we need to put out efforts as a nation to stamp out this ugly thing called racism,’ she said.
Lidia Thorpe said it was a ‘sad day’ as she pushed for a No vote campaigning in Melbourne
Michaelia Cash slams Anthony Albanese, claims he is dividing nation
Michaelia Cash has lashed out at Anthony Albanese declaring he had to take personal responsibility for ‘dividing the nation.’
Speaking from Perth, Senator Cash said regardless of the result tonight, Mr Albanese owed an explanation to the public and called for a probe into government funding.
‘Mr. Albanese decided to pursue politics over good policy and tomorrow he needs to to explain to the Australian people why he chose to go down this path. It has been a very traumatic last 12 months for the majority of Australian people,’ Senator Cash said earlier.
‘We need to do what we all want to do, and that is achieve the best possible outcome for our most disadvantaged Australians. That starts with an audit of the $30 billion a year that we fund out of Canberra,’ she said.
‘Tomorrow our focus needs to be on uniting the country and moving forward together.’
Penny Wong: Australia needs ‘unity’
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said it’s difficult to win a referendum when views are split but pressed that unity was ‘good for all of us.’
Senator Wong said she voted Yes because ‘nothing to fear and so much to gain.’
‘This is all about bringing the country together,’ she said.
‘I’ve had the benefit of travelling to lots of parts of Australia and talking with so many Australians from so many parts of the country, different walks of life – young, old, different faiths, were united in a desire for reconciliation and to move forward.’
Linda Burney admits ‘butterflies’
Indigenous Affairs minister and leading Yes campaigner Linda Burney said Australians agreed the issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a ‘national shame’.
‘This is people’s opportunity to change that,’ she said.
The minister said she had butterflies in her stomach, and was hopeful a ‘yes’ vote will lead to greater outcomes for Indigenous people.
“If this is a successful referendum, the closing-the-gap targets will be turbocharged,” she said.
“We have worked incredibly hard. We’ve knocked on thousands of doors, rung thousands of phones.”
Australians Vote In Indigenous Voice To Parliament Referendum
Australian Electoral Commission hits out
Australia’s Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers has urged Voice campaigners to stop harassing voters outside voting booths while flagging ‘nutty’ conspiracy theories.
Mr Rogers said for the most part voting has been ‘very orderly’ but conceded there had been some bad behavior.
‘We’ve had some disappointing activities, particularly outside the polling places and some of our voters have been hassled by some of the campaigners,’ Mr Rogers said.
Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said she had ‘butterflies’ when she voted on Saturday morning, as she made a final urge to one in five Aussies who are still undecided to vote Yes.
‘Today is a truly historic day in this country,’ Ms Burney said.
‘There are one in five voters that are still to make up my own mind, and they will vote today, and I want those people to vote yes.’
‘Yes, for a positive future. For this country. Yes, for a unified country, going forward. And most importantly, yes to better outcomes for First Nations people.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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