On Wednesday, the date of the Indigenous voice referendum will be revealed at a big community rally in the outer suburbs of Adelaide. This event will mark the beginning of a campaign to modify Australia’s constitution for the first time in almost half a century.
To confirm the timing of the referendum, Peter Malinauskas, the premier of South Australia, will meet with Christopher Albanese in Elizabeth, which is located north of Adelaide. If it were to take place on the 14th of October, as is commonly expected, it would mark the beginning of a campaign that lasts for 45 days.
The proponents of the yes vote believe that appealing to younger voters and female voters in urban and suburban areas is the key to victory, and they are counting on a big grassroots movement to flip the polls, which currently suggest that the no vote is ahead in crucial places.
“No one would have known seven years ago when the Uluru statement was issued that out of that process, a place of despair, we’d be on the cusp of going to a referendum with a positive vision for the future,” said Professor Megan Davis, co-chair of the Uluru Dialogue and an architect of the voice. “No one would have known out of that process, a place of despair,”
“That’s the choice that the referendum provides: either an endorsement of now, which is not great for our people, or it’s a new Australia.”
“This is a campaign of two future Australias,” she stated.
“One [future Australia] is looking backwards, being negative, being pessimistic, having a very deep racial undertone, and bullying – and the other is a vision for Australia that was developed by First Nations people, that opens its arms up, that is positive and forward-looking, and that has huge numbers of Gen Z and millennials who say they want their future to be inclusive.”
In order for the referendum to be approved, there needs to be a “double majority,” which means that not only must a majority of people across the country support it, but also at least four of the country’s six states.
There is a general consensus among federal and campaign sources that New South Wales and Victoria would vote yes, whereas Queensland is expected to vote no. It is currently anticipated that Western Australia will vote against the referendum.
It is anticipated that the results of the referendum will be determined in Tasmania and South Australia.
In light of the fact that there is a double majority, both camps are working hard to ensure that they do not suffer crushing defeats in any of the states. This has resulted in the no camp making a concerted effort to sway voters in south-east Queensland and the no camp ramping up their efforts in western Sydney.
According to sources that responded yes, young people and women were among those more likely to support the move; nevertheless, research conducted internally suggests that up to forty percent of voters are still open to being convinced or have not yet made up their minds.
“We’ve been furiously working behind the scenes, as well in public, getting ready for this moment,” Thomas Mayo, a Yes23 spokesperson, told Australia’s Full Story podcast.
Although yes sources have stated that major campaigners such as Noel Pearson, Mayo, Rachel Perkins, and Yes23’s director, Dean Parkin, will continue traveling widely, both the yes and the no campaigns have focused their social media advertising to focus on South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.
On Tuesday, Pearson referred to Adelaide as “the epicentre of this campaign” and stated that he was “anxious and excited” about the upcoming announcement.
“South Australia is absolutely critical to this referendum, as it has always been to any progressive reform in this country,” he said. “This has been the case since the beginning of any progressive reform in this country.”
According to sources that say yes, the revelation of the date will set off what may be the most extensive political campaign that Australia has ever seen, with a flood of traditional and online commercials expected to drop within the next few days.
Pearson stated that he had not abandoned hope for the state of Queensland and asserted that there was “a very different feeling” in recent weeks.
“The atmosphere is beginning to change. Even in locations such as Queensland, the wind is shifting so that it is blowing against us. “the effort is going to be all over the place,” he said.
Senior sources stated that Labor aimed to avoid dominating each and every day of the campaign, despite the fact that prime minister as well as other senior colleagues will play vital roles at key periods of the campaign.
On Wednesday, well-known members of the government, such as Tanya Plibersek and Bill Shorten, will join supporters from other political parties, such as the former prime minister of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, and the Liberal Member of Parliament, Bridget Archer, in campaigning at public events all throughout the country.
During the campaign, senior members like as the minister for health, Mark Butler, the minister for education, Jason Clare, and the minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, will be prominent faces, stressing how the voice would benefit their respective ministries.
“We are anticipating the presence of hundreds of people from various parts of the community.” According to a senior government official, the inaugural event that took place on Wednesday was “a snapshot of what this entire campaign is about – mobilizing people to have conversations in the suburbs.”
People power, with more than 25,000 volunteers signed up around the country having discussions, is the most valuable asset that Yes23 possesses, and it is also a key advantage that the organization enjoys.