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‘Nothing has been explained’: remote communities deprived of information about the voice, residents say | Indigenous voice to parliament


First Nations people living in some of the remotest parts of the country say they still lack information about the voice to parliament only weeks out from the referendum.

As early voting opens in remote and regional Australia before the referendum on 14 October, some residents on both sides of the argument say voters are struggling to access information about the meaning of the proposed constitutional change.

On Saibai Island, in the Torres Strait, Paul Kabai is a prominent environmental activist who has fought against climate change on his island home.

Kabai said access to reliable sources of information on the upcoming referendum was a challenge: “Nothing has been explained to elders here on the island.

“Talking with people about voting, it’s all about, ‘What is this referendum vote all about? What is the no, what is the yes for?’ Voting is just around the corner and there is nothing.”

Consistent polling has shown support for the voice declining in all states and territories but Kabai hopes the vote will succeed: “If it’s no on the paper it’ll be more difficult for us Islanders and Aboriginal people. They don’t know our living standards here and the racism will be around the corner if it’s no.”

The Mer Island resident Melora Noah disagrees with the idea of the voice, saying she already has one. She said there was still confusion…

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