Wollongong Greens Councillor Cath Blakey has labelled the Voice to Parliament referendum a ‘misinformation win’ after the majority of Australians rejected the proposed changes to the constitution.
The results so far show 60.6 per cent of Australians voted ‘no’ while over 55 per cent of the population voted against it in seven out of eight states. The ACT was the only jurisdiction in favour of the Voice.
Ms Blakey said the long-awaited referendum vote was plagued by falsities.
“It’s disappointing because we saw misinformation win and we were hoping the community would see through the lies being spread by the no campaign,” Ms Blakey said.
UOW student and supporter of the ‘yes’ campaign, Koko Wilson, agreed misinformation and the ‘no’ campaign’s advertising tactics influenced the outcome.
“It was really upsetting that the ‘no’ campaign’s slogan was ‘if you don’t know vote no’. It wasn’t encouraging people to research it; it was encouraging people to stay uneducated and make no effort to have an informed vote,” Ms Wilson said.
“It felt like they were saying if you don’t know it doesn’t matter enough to look into it.”
Despite the result, Ms Blakey was pleased with her electorate of Cunningham, the majority of whom voted ‘yes’. She said there will most likely be a sense of disappointment in the community but said it won’t be the end for Indigenous advocacy in Australia.
“We knew the Voice was never going to be an instant win,” she said.
“There is a lot of resilience in the community, and I hope people see it as a time to get more active.”
Less than 80 per cent of national votes have been counted so far. The final results are expected to be announced in the coming days.