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Central Land Council delegates vote Yes at Uluru

Callan Morse -

Elected grass-roots representatives of remote communities in Central Australia have used their most recent council meeting near Uluru to vote Yes to a Voice to parliament.

The Central Land Council delegates who had not yet voted in their remote communities, cast their votes at the same location Aboriginal leaders from around the country voted on the Uluru Statement from the Heart in May 2017.

"I was here six years ago, when we invited Australians to join us on a journey towards voice, treaty and truth-telling," CLC delegate and Uluru Traditional Owner, Sammy Wilson said after casting his vote in the building that hosted the Uluru Convention.

"Our council overwhelmingly voted Yes this morning because we know that when decision makers listen to our voices we end up with policies that help us, not harm us, and money is spent wisely."

Central Land Council chair, Matthew Palmer, said the Voice is the best hope in generation to turn around the lives of First Nations people in Central Australia.

"It won't come again in my lifetime, and I ask to you all to write Yes for all our children when you go into that voting booth," Mr Palmer said.

Council members undertook a round-trip of some 20 kilometres from their meeting on the land trust surrounding Uluru to cast their votes at the resort town of Yulara.

Central Land Council executive member, Barbara Shaw, was one of the delegates at the Uluru Convention and has worked against family violence in Alice Springs town camps with the Tangentyere Women's Safety Group.

Ms Shaw said the No campaign is based on fear, scaremongering and lies which has hurt and confused many, including Aboriginal people.

"It reminds me of John Howard's threats that people would lose their back yards if native title got up. He was pitting Australians against Australians for base political gain, and the No campaign is no different," she said.

"I appeal to you to ignore the No camp's talk of war and focus on what's actually on the ballot – an advisory body to help us achieve outcomes together.

"Please accept our simple offer of peace and unity. Walk with us for a better future where our families can live in harmony and children can play on a level playing field."

Referendum early voting centres are now operational across the country ahead of referendum day on 14 October.

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