Leading No campaigner and Nationals senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said she “doesn’t know how The Voice is going to change anyone’s life” as she urges Australians to vote “no” when the election begins.
More than 7,000 booths in several states opened at 8am on Saturday and will be available for Australians to vote until 6pm.
Speaking on Sunrise shortly after 8am, Ms Price said she was “pretty confident” the referendum would go in her favour, but said she didn’t want to “take anything for granted”.
Campaigners have published their final proposals ahead of Saturday’s historic Voice to Parliament referendum. Leading No campaigner Jacinta Nampajinpa Price (pictured) said she was confident the No vote would win
“There is still a drive to ensure Australians vote ‘no’ rather than empty voices supporting this proposal to change our constitution,” she said.
Senator Price said there were “many warning signs” because Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had failed to “set out any detail about how the Yes vote is going to change anyone’s life”.
She said Australians needed to understand that voting was “not the only way forward”.
“I don’t think we should divide ourselves along racial lines,” Senator Price said.
“The Constitution belongs to every single Australian and we must stand together as Australians and I am there with others to ensure we do the hard work to deliver results that this government is failing to achieve.”
New South Wales Premier Chris Minns and Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney cast their votes at the voting booth at Carlton South Public School in Sydney
“CHANCE TO CHANGE HISTORY”
Indigenous Australian Minister Linda Burney has made an important appeal to The Voice just minutes before polls open for the landmark referendum.
Ms Burney appeared on ABC News 24 just minutes before polling booths opened, standing outside a polling booth in Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney’s south.
She said she was determined to work until 6 p.m. Saturday to convince as many people as possible to vote yes.
“You have the chance to change the history of this country,” she told the ABC.
“You have the chance to make Australia a better nation and deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal people.”
Ms Burney said it was “unacceptable” that Aboriginal life expectancy in some areas was as low as 42 years, while suicide rates were twice as high.
Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney (pictured) said Australians had the chance to rewrite history and deliver better outcomes for Indigenous Australians by voting yes
After months of campaigning, Australians will have their say as voters (pictured) head to the polls to cast their votes
“Every Australian has the chance today to change that.” “That’s happening by voting yes in this referendum,” she said.
The Minister for Indigenous Australians said she strongly believes the referendum will be successful, saying the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are a “national disgrace”.
“The good thing is that everyone agrees on this,” she said.
“This is people’s opportunity. We know that one in five voters still can’t make up their minds.” “This is the chance for everyone to actually change these results.”
RECORD NUMBER OF VOTES
A record number of Australians have already voted in the Voice referendum as the election campaign enters its final hours.
As of midday Friday, more than 5.4 million votes had been cast at early voting centers across the country.
The AEC has warned that anyone who fails to cast a vote will not only miss their chance but also face a fine.
Polls have opened across the country (pictured) as Australians cast their votes in the historic referendum, the first in more than 20 years. Pictured, voters collect their ballot papers at a polling station in St Kilda in Melbourne
To sweeten the deal, the AEC says there will be a barbecue or cake stall at many stalls.
Additionally, the approximately two million Australians who have requested a postal vote and have not yet returned it are urged to do so as quickly as possible.
Australians are going to the polls to vote on whether an Indigenous advisory body, the Voice, should be enshrined in the constitution.
It is the first referendum since 1999.
While polls initially favored the Yes campaign, polls released ahead of the referendum suggest Australians are likely to vote no.
Voters queue to cast their votes on Bondi Beach in Sydney on Saturday morning (pictured), as the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) warns those who are eligible to vote and have not done so face the risk of a fine
Thousands of voting booths like this one in Bondi Beach (pictured) have been set up across the country and many Australians are yet to cast their vote
For the referendum to be successful, a majority of voters in a majority of states must vote yes.
In his final appeal to voters, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said whether Australia would “feel better” if it voted yes.
“We have a chance for Australians to do better.” “To show more respect to First Australians but also to do something for ourselves,” he told reporters at the Adelaide rallies.
More than five million voters (pictured) have already cast their ballots after early voting opened last week
But opposition leader Peter Dutton said he expected the vote to fail.
“The Prime Minister made a catastrophic mistake in not telling Australians the details – he instinctively won their hearts because while Australians want better outcomes for Indigenous Australia, he has not won their minds,” Dutton told the ABC Radio.
The counting of votes will begin as soon as the polls close on Saturday at 6 p.m.