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West Australian Premier Roger Cook has shrugged off polling suggesting his state is heading for a resounding “no” vote in the upcoming Voice referendum.
Speaking after the formal referendum date announcement, Cook said when faced with the question on October 14 to establish the body that would acknowledge First Nations people in the constitution and consult on issues impacting them, he was confident West Australians would vote “yes”.
Hundreds of Yes23 supporters assembled at Cottesloe on Wednesday.Credit: Kate Chaney
“People will make the sensible and fair-minded response, which is to say ‘yes’,” he said.
“What I can say is that I think every Western Australian believes that the acknowledgement, recognition and consultation with our First Nations people is a fair and reasonable proposition.”
Support for the Indigenous Voice to parliament has rapidly eroded in WA, with Resolve’s combined July and August polling putting support for it at just 44 per cent, the second-worst in the nation behind Queensland’s 41 per cent.
In order for the referendum to be successful a double majority of people and states is required.
Cook, an ardent supporter of the Voice, said he would be a part of the Yes campaign.
“We’ll be having these conversations in the community, in the media, on the streets, on doorsteps, making sure that we can continue to allow people to access the information they need,” he said.
“I say to Western Australians: don’t shut the door on future generations of First Nations Indigenous peoples.
“Think about the despair and the hurt that it will cause.”
The Yes23 WA campaign launched on Cottesloe Beach on Wednesday morning.
Hundreds of supporters including independent Curtin MP Kate Chaney and Labor Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman assembled on the Cottesloe groyne for a drone photo.
Just 0.4 per cent of people living in Cottesloe are Indigenous, according to the last census, making it the local government area with the equal-least amount of Indigenous residents alongside neighbouring council Cambridge.
A No campaign event launched by the WA Liberals earlier this month attracted more than a thousand supporters.
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