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Thousands of vollies rally for referendum start gun

Dominic Giannini -

Almost 30,000 'yes' volunteers are awaiting the official starting gun for the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum campaign.

Yes23 director Dean Parkin said South Australia would be an important state to campaign in as the prime minister gets ready to announce the referendum date in Adelaide this week.

It is widely expected to be October 14.

"We're really excited about the date, I think it'll sharpen the minds of voters and reinforce to everybody that later this year we'll be asked a very simple question," Mr Parkin told Sky News on Sunday.

"To recognise Indigenous peoples as the first peoples of this country through a voice and we're just really keen to get that starter's gun fired in terms of the actual time frame."

Mr Parkin said the campaign would leave no stone unturned as more than 27,000 volunteers knocked on tens of thousands of doors to start grassroots conversations.

"These are people that aren't members of a political party or all unionists or other campaigners," he said.

"They're just Australians wanting to get behind the 'yes' vote."

Liberal frontbencher Jane Hume expressed doubt about the referendum succeeding and laid the blame at the prime minister's feet, saying it was his model the federal opposition could not support.

"Let's face it, we all want to see a constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Australians," she said.

"There are lots of people like me in my party whose heart said we could get here.

"But unfortunately, the question that's been put before us, my head and my gut says we cannot support this if we can't understand it."

Senator Hume said she wasn't willing to risk the potential consequences of changing the constitution.

"So this is a missed opportunity and it's on Anthony Albanese," she said.

But the prime minister has not written off an Indigenous voice to parliament as he tours Western Australia on Sunday.

The state is largely expected to vote 'no' but Mr Albanese has told The West Australian the voice is far from dead.

"The feedback of people who've knocked on doors in WA, and everywhere else, shows, I think, the support which is there when people focus on what the question is," Mr Albanese said.

Dominic Giannini - AAP

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