The leader of the opposition party, Peter Dutton, has criticized Australian mining giants and other large companies for their donations to the ‘yes’ campaign in support of the Indigenous voice to parliament. Dutton accused these companies of lacking backbone and trying to please the public on social media platforms.
Dutton’s Liberal Party has taken a stance against the ‘yes’ vote and has raised concerns about how the proposed voice advisory body will operate. According to Dutton, there are still many unanswered questions about the functioning and implications of this body.
While Dutton expressed his views, thousands of people gathered in Australian cities to rally for the ‘yes’ vote. Voting in favor of the proposal would establish a nearly permanent advisory body with the power to make representations to the executive and legislative branches of the government on matters relevant to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
Several mining companies, including BHP and Rio Tinto, have declared their support for the ‘yes’ vote. Dutton specifically targeted Rio Tinto, criticizing the company for causing significant damage to Indigenous culture in the past and attempting to make amends retroactively. He argued that such events could have been prevented with proper processes in place.
Dutton further emphasized that corporate Australia should not involve itself in certain debates without giving due consideration to the views of their workforce and the community. He believes that they are not fully taking into account the concerns and opinions of those affected.
In response to recent polls showing a decline in the ‘yes’ vote, Rachel Perkins, co-founder of the Yes23 campaign, asserted that these polls do not reflect the reality on the ground. According to her, conversations in support of the proposal are taking place in households, sports clubs, and workplaces across the country.
Linda Burney, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, urged Australians to support the referendum and emphasized the importance of getting it done. The referendum is scheduled to take place between October and December.
Overall, the debate surrounding the Indigenous voice to parliament continues to intensify, with opposition leader Peter Dutton criticizing the involvement of large corporations in the ‘yes’ campaign and expressing concerns about the proposed advisory body. Supporters of the ‘yes’ campaign, however, remain confident that their grassroots conversations will gather momentum and drive public opinion towards a positive outcome.