Tasmania the lone state in support of Voice – poll
Callan Morse – September 11, 2023
Tasmania is currently the only state with a majority in support of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament proposal, according to the Resolve Political Monitor survey, published in Nine newspapers on Monday.
With just under five weeks until polling day, 56 per cent of poll respondents in the island state said they were in support of the Voice, with 43 per cent against the proposal.
Speaking at a Yes23 event in southern Tasmania on Sunday, Tasmanian Elder and Yes campaigner Rodney Dillon said an unsuccessful referendum would equate to Australia accepting permanent disadvantage of Indigenous peoples.
“By having a ‘No’ vote I think that we’re saying that it’s OK for people to live 10 years less. It’s OK for kids to stay in that prison system and become career criminals. It’s OK for the housing standards of Aboriginals right around the country to stay like it is,” he said.
The Aboriginal Heritage Council chair and Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Communities Alliance (TRACA) co-founder said the Voice would be the “greatest step this country will make in my lifetime”, saying he was not prepared to “keep accepting what happened in the past”.
“This is a step towards us holding our hands and I’ve never always felt that,” Mr Dillon said.
“That hand’s not always been out, but at the moment that hand is out by all levels of government.”
Tasmania is currently the only state in the country where the Liberal Party, Labor and the Greens are united in supporting the Voice.
Speaking at the same event, Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim said the referendum could be won or lost in Tasmania.
“This is a moment in history for our country where we can accept the generous offer made to us by Aboriginal Australians and recognise them in the constitution and take a significant, meaningful step forward along the pathway to bringing our country together,” Senator McKim said.
Tasmanian senator and Palawa woman Jacqui Lambie said the government had “failed miserably” to provide detail and share positives of the Voice.
“Labor’s done a really lousy job at selling this, to be brutally honest,” Ms Lambie told Sky News.
In the same interview, Ms Lambie rejected the Opposition’s pledge to hold a second referendum on constitutional recognition, labelling it a “brain fart”.
Elsewhere in the country, support for the Voice as dipped with a shift against the Voice evident in Victoria and South Australia.
According to the Resolve poll, 49 per cent of Victorian respondents were in favour of the Voice, with 51 per cent against.
The No case was even stronger in South Australian, with 59 per cent against the Voice and 41 per cent in favour.
Whilst denying a failed referendum would sent a negative message to First Nations Australians, Nationals leader David Littleproud said the prime minister should split the referendum question to avoid dividing the nation.
“The message is that Australian people have come and they’ve decided that the proposition the prime minister has put forward to us isn’t the proper way to unite our country or to actually close the gap,” Mr Littleproud told reporters in Canberra.
Mr Littleproud said most people supported constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Many Indigenous Australians feel that view now and that’s why I think it’s wrong for Indigenous leaders who support ‘yes’ to … make generalised statements about how Indigenous Australians will feel,” he said.
Queensland and Western Australia recorded their lowest state-based Yes poll result to date, with 39 per cent of respondents in favour and 61 per cent against in each jurisdiction.
New South Wales’ No vote support also grew, with 56 per cent of respondents indicating a No preference with 44 per cent for the proposal.
Nationally, 57 per cent of the poll’s 3207 respondents indicated a No stance on the Voice with 43 per cent in favour of the proposal.
There are 33 days remaining until referendum day.