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Polling doesn't deter PM's confidence in Voice vote

Andrew Brown -

Polling which shows strong support in some states for a 'no' vote at the Indigenous voice referendum, is not diminishing Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's confidence.

Ahead of an announcement on Wednesday to confirm a date for the referendum vote, Mr Albanese is in Western Australia spruiking the constitutional proposal.

The most recent state polling, by Resolve, put support for the 'yes' case at 44 per cent in WA, 41 per cent in Queensland and 46 per cent in NSW and SA.

The 'yes' case was strongest in Tasmania (55 per cent) and Victoria (51 per cent).

The referendum will require a majority of votes in a majority of states to pass.

"When people focus on what the question is, as opposed to all the noise that's out there, they'll focus and they'll vote 'yes'," Mr Albanese told Perth's Nova 93.7 on Monday.

"When people have a look at what the question is, have a look at what's before them, they will take up this invite to say 'yes', and we'll be a better country for it. We need to do things in a better way."

The prime minister will announce the referendum date in Adelaide, with South Australia being seen as a key battleground for the voice.

The Indigenous voice would be no different to that of other groups advising to parliament, he added.

"All the voice is, is an advisory group - like business have groups and a lot of people give advice to government," he said.

"What it will be is a structured advice group, it will then be up to government to decide whether they agree with you or not on any issue."

'Yes' campaigners are also ramping up efforts in WA, with former Liberal foreign minister Julie Bishop joining her Labor successor Penny Wong to hand out flyers advocating for the voice.

Another former Liberal MP Pat Farmer arrived in Canberra on Monday on a 14,000km run around the nation to promote the 'yes' case.

Mr Farmer told supporters it was important particularly for older generations to get behind the voice, as there may not be another opportunity for reconciliation for some time.

"If things are driven from the ground up, to parliament to the decision makers, then we end up with better policy," he said.

Defence Minister Richard Marles said the voice was key to improving Indigenous wellbeing.

"The fact that a part of our population, by virtue of their birth, end up living shorter lives, less healthy lives, receive less education and are poorer, is simply not acceptable."

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the voice would not assist those in regional communities.

"I don't believe that the prime minister's proposal on the voice is in our country's best interests," he told reporters in Brisbane.

"I don't believe it will provide assistance to people ... where we see a desperate situation for Indigenous Australians."

Nationals leader David Littleproud said regardless of when the referendum is held it will be a tight vote.

"It's going to be a very close contest. And to that extent, that's the disappointing thing. Unfortunately the prime minister has divided this country," he told ABC TV.

"If the question had been solely about constitutional recognition, as we've said from the start, that's a proposal that the Nationals were prepared to be constructive in working through."

Andrew Brown - AAP


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