Sunrise host Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington has questioned the Prime Minster on telling new research which reveals the Indigenous Voice to Parliament is ranked the 17th most important issue to Australians.
Anthony Albanese appeared on Sunrise on Friday morning, delivering a last-minute pitch ahead of Saturday’s referendum, where he argued the Voice won’t impact most Aussies and blasted the “arrogance of the No campaign”.
During the interview, Shirvington asked the Prime Minster about new research which revealed the most important issues for Australians, who listed healthcare, housing and the cost of living crisis as their top priorities
The Voice was far down the list as the 17th most important issue in Australians’ eyes.
“How do you feel about that?” Shirvington asked Mr Albanese.
“The idea that you’ve been trying to show the importance of this and what it means as a reflection of Australia, but Australians don’t see it as important as other things in their lives.”
Responding with a smile, Mr Albanese said: “Shirvo, that is exactly the point that I’ve been making”.
“This is a change that won’t impact most of your listeners,” he said, adding the Voice won’t impact on the lives of 97 per cent of Aussies.
“It might, though, make a difference and might make things better for the three per cent of Australians who are among our most disadvantaged who have an eight-year life expectancy gap.”
Labelling the Voice “a modest change”, he said it’s “just recognition of the First Australians in the Constitution and a non-binding advisory committee from Indigenous Australians about Indigenous Australian issues so that we can get better outcomes”.
When asked whether the Yes campaign can win by co-host Natalie Barr, Mr Albanese was not deterred by recent polling.
“Of course it can still be won. Most Australians haven’t voted yet,” he said.
“There’s been an arrogance I think from the No campaign with some of the misinformation that’s out there,” he added.
“Indigenous Australians are just asking to be listened to and asking Australians to walk with them, to do things with them, rather than with the best of intentions to do things either for them or to them.”
“It’s always better when you ask people who are directly impacted by a policy, what their views are,” he concluded.
New analysis by UK firm focaldata revealed just 22 out of 151 federal electorates are predicted to vote Yes at the referendum on Saturday.
The data showed only a handful of inner city and suburban seats are expected to vote Yes in NSW, while only the inner-city seats in Queensland are expected to say Yes.
For the referendum to pass, a majority Yes vote is needed across Australia, as well as in four of the six states.
Mr Albanese has defiantly ruled out legislating a Voice if the referendum were to fail.
When asked if he would “walk away altogether” from the Voice in the event of a No vote, he responded: “correct”.
“Indigenous Australians have said they want a Voice that’s enshrined (in the constitution),” he told ABC’s Insiders last week.
“What they don’t want to do is what they’ve done time and time again, which is to part of establishing representative organisations, only to see, for opportunistic reasons, a government to come in and just abolish it.”