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Geelong community forum confirms deep concerns about Labor’s risky Voice

Last night, Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, hosted a Voice Community Forum at the Geelong West Town Hall in the Corio electorate featuring Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO.

Mr Mundine is a highly respected businessman, former chairman of the Coalition government’s Indigenous Advisory Council and one of the country’s most influential advocates for the economic empowerment of indigenous Australians. Along with the Coalition’s Senator Nampijinpa Price, Mr Mundine is a leading advocate of the ‘no’ campaign.

Close to 200 local residents attended the event, with many expressing concerns about the Albanese Government’s lack of transparency about the Voice referendum and proposed amendment to the Constitution.

“We all want to help indigenous Australians in disadvantaged communities, but the Voice is not the answer. It would enshrine a Voice in the Constitution with few limits to its scope and few details,” Senator Henderson said.

“Labor’s Voice is risky, unknown, divisive and permanent.  Regrettably, the Albanese Government is keeping secret so much information about the scope and powers of the Voice to Parliament and the Executive including the proposed legislation which will underpin its operation,” Senator Henderson said.

“Prime Minister Albanese has refused to be upfront and honest with the Australian people about how the Voice will operate and the role of the proposed Makarrata Commission.  He has also refused to provide details about the treaty making process, how long it will take and the financial implications for both the Commonwealth and Australian taxpayers,” Senator Henderson said.

“It is extraordinary that Prime Minister Albanese committed to deliver in full the Uluru Statement from the Heart which includes a treaty and possible reparations and compensation, without even reading the document,” Senator Henderson said.

My message is that if local residents don’t know how the Voice is going to work, then they should vote no,” Senator Henderson said.

“The Coalition’s position is clear – we support constitutional recognition which would be a unifying moment for our country and we support the establishment of local and regional bodies.  However, we do not support Mr Albanese’s divisive national Voice, Treaty, Truth proposal, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that many Australians don’t either.”

Last night’s attendees included traditional Labor voters who felt they had been taken for granted by Labor and confirmed they would be voting “no”.

“In refusing to provide all relevant information, Corio MP Richard Marles and Corangamite MP Libby Coker have treated local residents with contempt.  It is no wonder that the “yes” campaign is running off the rails,” Senator Henderson said.

“Mr Marles arrogantly declared on his Facebook page that “Geelong is saying yes” when we know that the community is very divided.” Senator Henderson said.

For more information, please see

For anyone wishing to access Mr Mundine’s slide presentation, please click here.

For anyone interested in reading the full 26 page Uluru Statement from the Heart as obtained under Freedom of Information from the National Indigenous Australians Agency, please click here.

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