Thousands of Australians gathered at rallies all over the country today to show support for the No campaign ahead of the Voice referendum. The turnout was particularly significant in Sydney, where at least 10,000 people joined the rally at Hyde Park. The event, which began at midday, attracted thousands more viewers through its livestream. Similar rallies were held in major metropolitan areas like Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, as well as regional locations such as Casino and Yeppoon.
The headline speaker at the Sydney rally was Craig Kelly, a former Liberal Party member who now belongs to the United Australian Party. Kelly used his platform to highlight the efforts of the “small group of dedicated, patriotic” individuals behind the No campaign. He acknowledged the powerful alliance on the other side, stating, “We’ve got the political parties here in NSW, the Labour Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens, and the TEALS all on the YES side. We’ve got the big banks, Coles, Woolworths, BHP, and Qantas, as well as the big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, all voting for YES.”
Despite the formidable opposition, Kelly emphasized the resilience of the No campaigners, describing them as “proud enough to stand up and to say no.” He also mentioned the recent dismissal of a legal challenge from the United Australian Party by the federal court. The UAP had attempted to have crosses counted as a No vote on the referendum ballot. Undeterred, Kelly announced that the UAP would be appealing this decision within the next 48 hours.
Images from the rally show Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth senior speaking to the crowd and former Liberal Democrat Ross Cameron, who served as the host for the event. Shillingsworth can be seen wearing a “Yeah Nah” shirt, symbolizing his support for the No campaign.
While the No campaign received massive support in Sydney, thousands also turned up in Brisbane to voice their opinions on both sides of the referendum. The atmosphere was charged as protesters from both campaigns passionately expressed their beliefs and engaged in civil discourse.
It is clear that the Voice referendum has sparked a strong response from Australians across the country. The rallies serve as a testament to the commitment and passion of those involved, regardless of whether they support the Yes or No campaign. As the referendum date draws closer, it remains to be seen how this impassioned debate will shape the future of Australia’s political landscape.