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McCarthy new face of last-ditch Yes bid to prove Indigenous support

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Jacinta Nampijinpa Price speaking at the National Press Club on Thursday September 14. Credits: Alex Ellinghausen

The assistant minister for Indigenous Australians said the Yes campaign needed to focus on “what Australia looks like” with recognition of the constitution and One Voice, while recognition and respect for many busy Australians has not had time to deeply engage in the referendum.

“The lives of First Nations people will be better … in terms of health statistics, in terms of high incarceration rates, suicide rates, very low birth weights of babies,” he said. .

Yes, campaign research into voter attitudes suggests a large proportion of Australians are convinced – most notably Coalition Indigenous Australians spokeswoman Jacinta Price – that the Indigenous community is divided over the proposal. of Voice.

This research, confirmed by four Yes and government sources speaking on condition of anonymity to detail private findings, has become one of Hindi’s most effective tools to undermine the Voice’s proposal, and one source said the popularity of Price, and to a lesser extent Nyunggai Warren Mundine and senator Kerrynne Liddle, the largest “wildcard” of the referendum.

A spokesman for the main No outfit, Fair Australia, said Voice’s portrayal of the Indigenous community as divided was “not a campaign tactic, it’s just the truth”.

A government source questioned why McCarthy had not been more prominent earlier.

The senator is campaigning alongside Labor’s Indigenous Australians Minister, Linda Burney, who spent Monday talking to Yes campaigners in Tasmania.


As Burney struggled to resist intense opposition pressure in parliament, he proved popular with grassroots campaign volunteers across the country.

Early voting opened across Australia on Monday, with Anthony Albanese repeatedly accusing opponents of misinformation, refusing to give his view on why Labor voters are abandoning the Voice, and declaring optimism despite of falling approval for the referendum in all major polls.

“No country has become better by agreeing to a campaign of fear. To grow a country, you need optimism,” he said in Melbourne’s outer north-western suburbs, insisting the Voice was not will create losers and “united for the country, a hope in which there is only upside, no downside.”

“It’s not a radical proposal, it’s not a conservative proposal either, it’s a mainstream proposal. And it’s a proposal that comes from Indigenous peoples themselves.”

Albanese’s positive tone contrasts with a new Yes23 advertisement released on Monday. It depicts, in black and white, an indigenous family dealing with infant mortality, financial insecurity and poor health in old age.

“No vote means no progress,” the ad said.

Yes23 campaign director Dean Parkin said: “A successful Yes vote is our best shot at delivering better results and a better future. Voting No will mean more than the same old policy failure”.

Midnight Oil, a band that has long campaigned for Indigenous rights, recorded and paid for a radio advertising campaign supporting Yes on the same day NRL star Nathan Cleary declared his support for Yes.

The Oils ad is set on the band’s fame Power and the Passion song Singer Peter Garrett, a former Labor minister, said: “Of course your vote is entirely up to you but don’t fall for all the scare campaigns. If you don’t know, find out!”

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