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Confidence high for public support in First Nations voice to parliament referendum

Tom Zaunmayr -

Uluru Statement From the Heart backers believe the Australian people will resoundingly vote yes should a referendum be held to establish a First Nations voice enshrined in the constitution under the next government.

Federal Labor has committed to holding a referendum on the matter in its first term should it win the May Federal election, albeit with potential caveats should they not be confident of a yes outcome.

The incumbent Liberal-National government meanwhile has made no such commitment to date, instead progressing a co-designed legislative voice sitting outside of the constitution.

UNSW Indigenous Law Centre research associate Eddie Synot said a wealth of data indicated strong support for a yes vote, including from 90 per cent of Indigenous people.

"We do believe based on the polling, the anecdotal evidence is that the Australian people are ready," he said.

"Even the political divide isn't necessarily so sharp.

"We know there are people within the government who are supportive as well."

Referendum council co-chairwoman Pat Anderson said the campaign team behind the Uluru Statement were ready to fight for the yes vote should a vote be called.

"It is going to be really difficult, it is the big fight we are going to have," she said.

"We have to convince more and more Australians this is the right thing to do. It is time to resolve the issues between us."

Several possible dates for a referendum will be put forward to delegates at an Uluru Dialogues meeting being held in Cairns this weekend.

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