Anthony Albanese FINALLY agrees to explain details of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament with a single pamphlet to be mailed to all Australians
- Aussies will be mailed pamphlets about the Voice proposal
- The government conceded to the Opposition’s demand
- Mr Albanese has refused to fund Yes and No campaigns
Anthony Albanese will have educational pamphlets explaining the Indigenous Voice to Parliament mailed out to every Australian voter in a backflip concession to the demands of Opposition leader Peter Dutton.
The federal government had previously said pamphlets, like those used in previous referendums, would not be required as MPs could reach voters through a variety of media formats including television, email and social media.
The change in tune comes after Mr Dutton made a mailout detailing the Voice proposal a key condition of Coalition support for the legislation required to hold a referendum.
However, the government has yet to agree to another of Mr Dutton’s demands – that the Yes and No campaigns get equal federal funding.
Anthony Albanese (pictured) has agreed to mail pamphlets to voters that will explain the details of the Voice to Parliament
The backflip comes after Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman rejected the need for any mailout in December.
‘The next referendum will be the first in the digital age. There is no longer any need for taxpayers to pay for a pamphlet to be sent to every household,’ he said in a media release at the time.
‘Modern technology allows parliamentarians to express their views to voters directly and regularly through a wide variety of sources, such as television, email and social media, that did not exist when the pamphlet was introduced in the early 20th century.’
However, the government will now mail leaflets that break down the cases for and against the Voice to Parliament in a bid to secure Opposition support for the legislation required to hold the referendum.
Special Minister Don Farrell is understood be in charge of preparing the leaflets.
Mr Dutton said mailing out information pamphlets was a precedent that needed to be maintained.
‘It was never sustainable for the prime minister to say to the Australian people that he wanted them to vote in the referendum and then only provide an argument for one side of the case,’ he said.
‘It was frankly quite arrogant of the prime minister to believe he didn’t need to provide details to the Australian people.’
The opposition leader also argued that despite advancements in modern technology, 40 per cent of voters still read material sent to them during election campaigns.
It follows a series of demands by Opposition leader Peter Dutton (pictured) who has also called for equal public funding for Yes and No campaigns
The Voice is pitched as an advisory body that will advise the Australian Parliament and government on issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (pictured, dancers perform at the Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land)
Mr Dutton is expected to unveil his party’s position on the Voice next week, while the Nationals had already made their opposition to the proposal known last year.
The Greens pledged their support to the proposal on Monday following the defection of Aboriginal senator Lidia Thorpe, who wants a treaty with Aboriginal people before the Voice.
Australians will vote in a referendum in the second half of this year on whether the constitution should be amended to create an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander body to provide advice to the federal parliament on policies affecting them.