Steve Price rant about the Voice to Parliament, claiming it is ‘dragging Australians apart’

Steve Price has unleashed an extraordinary rant about the ‘divisive’ referendum on the Voice to Parliament, claiming it is ‘dragging us apart’ and is bound to lose.

The conservative firebrand opened up on The Project on Monday about his views on the historic vote which was given the greenlight by the Senate earlier today. 

Anthony Albanese’s voice briefly cracked with emotion when he announced that Australians will be afforded a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to improve the lives of First Nations people between October and December.

The referendum aims to establish an Indigenous body to advise Parliament on issues facing Aboriginal Australians. It will also enshrine First Nations People in the Constitution.

‘Where’s the downside here?’ the Prime Minister asked. ‘What are people risking here? From my perspective this is all upside.’ 

But Price has poured cold water on Mr Albanese’s positive outlook, predicting the Yes vote will only win in New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania, meaning the Voice ultimately ‘won’t get up’. 

If more than half of the total national votes or more than half of people n at least three states vote against the change, the referendum will not be successful.

The Prime Minister said Australians will be afforded a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to improve the lives of First Nations people between October and December this year


Do you want the Constitution altered to recognise the First People’s of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?

  • Yes 628 votes
  • No 7332 votes
  • Unsure 550 votes

‘Everyone says this is bringing Australia together but I’m sorry, I feel it’s dragging us apart,’ Price said. 

He added: ‘The nation is divided on it. We had the plebiscite on same-sex marriage and I think that was a coming together of people and a good feeling about it – this has a bad feeling about it.’

Price pointed to Senator Lidia Thorpe’s comments in the Senate today where she petitioned for a treaty like in New Zealand.

‘I’ve done a lot of media in New Zealand for a long time and the situation there is very divisive,’ Price said. 

‘What’s happened there with the way that they’ve gone about treaty has dragged people apart.

He added: ‘I don’t take any joy saying it at all. I’m going to vote No probably but I may change my mind.’

He also accused Indigenous Minister Linda Burney of being ‘naive’ after she said that now the legislation has gone through the politics of it is over – and it’s now up to the Australian public.

‘The politics are not over,’ countered Price.

‘You are going to have the Yes campaign versus the No campaign led by politicians so it’s going to be all politicis. It’s not over. It hasn’t started.’

His comments came hours after Mr Albanese read out loud portions of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, surrounded by members of the referendum working group, Indigenous Minister Linda Burney and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus. 

Steve Price (pictured) said he took no pleasure in saying that he thought the Voice would lose

Steve Price (pictured) said he took no pleasure in saying that he thought the Voice would lose

Senator Lidia Thorpe (pictured left) will vote 'No' in protest of the 'token advisory' body the Government has proposed

Senator Lidia Thorpe (pictured left) will vote ‘No’ in protest of the ‘token advisory’ body the Government has proposed 

Moments before that, the Constitutional Amendment Bill passed in the Senate 52 to 19. Among the ‘No’ votes were Independent Lidia Thorpe and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson – who opposed for very different reasons.

Senator Thorpe said the Voice to Parliament will have no real power to enact change and help Indigenous Australians. She is instead petitioning for a treaty.

Meanwhile, Senator Hanson argued that the advisory body will have too much power.

Mr Albanese said the polar opposite takes on his proposal indicated to him that he’d ‘found the perfect balance’.

He said: ‘If people look at the balance of some people saying this goes too far, others saying it doesn’t go far enough, I would say we’ve got the balance right. 

‘It will not have the power of veto, it is just that, an advisory body. Voice is a powerful word because it will give First Nations people a voice.’

Mr Albanese said ‘the truth is for most people watching this it will have no impact of their lives’, but that it ‘might make things better for the most disadvantaged people in Australia’. 

After years of doing things ‘for’ Aboriginal people, often with the best of intentions, the PM said a Voice to Parliament would allow Indigenous people to take the front seat on matters crucial to them.

There have been many concerns about what exactly this means. Critics of the Voice say there is not enough detail provided on just what matters the advisory body will have input in.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus today tried to clear up that confusion during the press conference.

He listed five key issues which will become the core focus of the advisory group: health, employment, education, housing and justice.

‘No harm can come from this referendum, only good,’ he said. ‘The parliament has done its job and now it’s up to the Australian people.’

Mr Albanese later echoed Mr Dreyfus’s calls, urging the Australian public to seize the opportunity to ‘make history’.

‘Parliaments pass laws but it is people who make history,’ he said. Mr Albanese again reiterated his belief that a Voice to Parliament is a ‘gracious’ request which will bring Australia together.

Both the Yes and No campaigns will now ramp up efforts to connect with voters ahead of the referendum, which will likely take place in October this year.

The Liberal Party, Nationals and One Nation will all oppose the Voice and contribute to official No pamphlets to be delivered to every household.

Labor and the Greens, along with several independents, will collaborate on a Yes pamphlet. 

What we know about the Voice to Parliament so far 

Here, Daily Mail Australia looks at some of the key questions about the Voice so far, and how the government has tackled them:

What kind of advice can the Voice provide the Parliament and Government?

The Voice will advise on matters that directly relate to Indigenous people.

It will respond to requests made by the government, while also having the power to engage proactively on matters that they believe impact them. 

The group will have its own resources to research matters and engage with communities at a grassroots level to ensure it is best reflecting their needs.

How will members of the Voice be chosen?

Members of the Voice will be appointed by Indigenous communities and will serve on the committee for a fixed period of time, yet to be determined.

The way the communities choose their representatives will be agreed upon by the local communities in tandem with the government as part of a ‘post referendum process’ to ensure cultural legitimacy. 

Who can become a member of the committee?

Members of the Voice must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

They will be chosen from across each state and territory and have balanced gender representation nationally.

The government has also guaranteed that young people will be included in the committee to ensure representation across the broad scope of the community. 

Will the Voice be transparent? 

The government states the Voice will be subject to scrutiny and reporting requirements to ensure it is held accountable and remains transparent.

Voice members will be held to standards of the National Anti-Corruption Commission and will be sanctioned or removed from the committee if there are any findings of misconduct.

Will the Voice have veto power?


Will the Voice work independently of other government bodies?

The committee must respect the work and role of existing organisations, the government says.

Will the Voice handle any funds?

The Voice will not directly manage any money or deliver any services to the community.

Its sole role will be in making representations about improving existing government programs and services, and advising on new ideas coming through the parties.