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Australia PM ‘optimistic’ of long-shot win in Indigenous rights referendum
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Australia PM ‘optimistic’ of long-shot win in Indigenous rights referendum

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese conveyed on Sunday he stayed hopeful a referendum to understand the nation’s Indigenous people in the constitution would be successful, even as the measure lags in opinion polls less than a week from the vote. “I’m staying positive and hopeful,” Albanese said to the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) on Sunday morning, according to a transcript.

“Whether it be Shepperton or Sydney or Brisbane, Melbourne, the places I’ve been, Hobart, Adelaide in the previous week, have been immensely optimistic” Albanese’s centre-left Labor government backs the referendum, while the opposition Liberal-National conservatives urge a “No” vote on Oct. 14. Nationally, opponents lead the yes campaign by 53% to 38%, according to an opinion poll previous week.

If the “Voice to Parliament” referendum is agreed for, it would constitutionally enshrine Indigenous people and create an advisory body for their input on rules that make an impact on them. Most Indigenous people favour the transformation , but some say it is a distraction from getting  practical and an optimistic results and would not be able to completely solve the problems impacting them.

The political opposition says the measure is divisive, would not be affective and would slow government decision-making. Marginalised by British colonial governers and not mentioned in Australia’s 122-year-old constitution, Indigenous Australians, who make up 3.8% of the population, deal with discrimination, shorter life expectancy, lower education outcomes and high incarceration rates.

As part of final attempts to buoy the yes side, Albanese on Saturday printed a picture to Social media platform X showing him casting his vote in Sydney in Australia’s most populated state, New South Wales, where 4.2% of people known as Indigenous.