Jacinta Price has warned Australia should ‘be on notice’ for Anthony Albanese’s government to start ramping up ‘bullying, gaslighting, and emotional blackmail’ ahead of the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum.
The Indigenous Nationals senator’s fury was trigged by comments from minister Linda Burney who declared the government wouldn’t fund either side of the Yes/No argument.
This is despite the fact the federal budget has already allocated as much as $235 million towards the referendum which could be held as early as next year with $75million to be spent before Australians cast their vote.
Senator Price has been one of the proposal’s biggest critics as she believes the push to recognise First Nations people in the Constitution and potentially establish a third chamber of parliament to advice government, will create further division while failing to address disadvantage.
She has accused Labor of saturating the public service, education systems and government funded NGOs with Yes campaign ‘propaganda’.
Indigenous Senator Jacinta Price (pictured in the Senator on Thursday)
The Northern Territory-based senator fears the government will ramp up ‘bullying, gaslighting and emotional blackmail’ in a desperate effort to get the Indigenous Voice to Parliament over the line.
‘When the tactful PM refers to the Australian public being responsible for funding the Yes and No campaigns, what he actually means is big corporations that Labor have been courting for the last few years will be heavily bankrolling the Yes campaign on Labors behalf,’ Senator Price told NewsCorp.
‘It’s blatantly evident that Labor are not interested in fully and equally informing the Australian public on the No argument, only the Yes argument.
‘They’ll ramp up their bullying, gaslighting and emotional blackmail tactics – everyone is on notice.’
According to figures in the budget handed down in October, $160 million already sits in a ‘contingency reserve’ to fund Australia’s first referendum since 1999.
Another $75.1 million has been set aside ‘preparation and support work,’ (increasing) First Nations enrolment and participation,’ along with with ‘$6.5 million to the National Indigenous Australians Agency to support the Referendum.’
Minister Linda Burney (pictured with Anthony Albanese) declared the government wouldn’t fund either side of the Yes/No argument for the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament, despite $235million already allocated in the budget.
The Voice: What would be added to the constitution?
1. There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to Parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
3. The Parliament shall, subject to this constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Indigenous minister Linda Burney insists no government funding will be given to run official ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns for the referendum
Corporate and private donations are expected for both sides of the argument.
‘We will be using public funds to fund a civics campaign, so people know about what referendums are,’ Ms Burney told ABC last week.
‘We will not be using public funds to fund a yes or a no campaign. We believe those campaigns can raise their own money, through private means.’
In comparison, the former John Howard government contributed $7.5million each to the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cases of the republic referendum in 1999.
Both sides were not permitted to fundraise or accept outside donations.
Further details about what an Indigenous voice to parliament would look like and how it would impact communities will be released before the referendum.
Ms Burney said Australians will be ‘well informed’ about what they were voting for when they go to the ballot box.
‘They will well understand the reason for the voice to improve the life outcomes for First Nations people, but also issues around how it will work,’ she said
‘And, importantly, what it will mean in uniting this country.’
Debate has raged after the Prime Minister proposed a referendum on recognising First Nation’s people in the constitution and requiring consultation with them on decisions that impact their lives.
Senator Jacinta Price(flanked by National colleagues outside Parliament last week) claims Labor will ramp up its ‘bullying, gaslighting, and emotional blackmail’ for it proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament
The proposed referendum has sparked more questions than answers since it was unveiled in a landmark announcement in August.
At the recent GQ Man of the Year Awards in Sydney, Mr Albanese delivered a rousing speech, calling for the nation to enact the Voice to Parliament.
‘So, in the next year, 2023, you’re going to get a say. You’ll have the same vote that I do. Make sure that it counts,’ he addressed the crowd.
‘Make sure that you do something that will make you proud and that will make a difference to this country. It’s a huge risk and it’s a risk that First Nations elders are willing to take, because they’re sick of waiting for recognition.
‘And a Voice to Parliament is simply that: It’s so they’re consulted on matters that affect them, but also means that our nation’s birth certificate is truly as it should be.’
The Prime Minister hopes Australians will vote on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum in 2023