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Bridge walk for Yes as No campaign is caught out

September 12, 2023 7:53 am in by
First nations groups and local MP's are leading a Walk for Yes23 event over the Barwon Heads Bridge (IG - @djm.photo).

Local politicians and First Nations groups will lead a walk across the Barwon Heads Bridge in a show of support for the looming Voice referendum, as the No campaign is called out for spreading fear and misinformation.

Dubbed the “Walk for Yes”, Sunday’s event will get underway from 9am on the Ocean Grove side of the bridge.

A second “Walk for Yes” will take place in Hobart two hours after the conclusion of the Surf Coast event.

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Walk organiser and Labor Member for Corangamite Libby Coker said people who are still not sure what the Voice to Parliament referendum is about will be able to hear directly from First Nations people.

“Wadawurrung elder Corrina Eccles will be there, and it will be an opportunity to hear from First Nations people to gain a better understanding of what this referendum will mean,” Ms Coker said.

“The (No campaign’s) statement that ‘if you don’t know, vote no’ is not a responsible move. Every Australian has an opportunity to be informed and that is what we should do, it’s about getting the right information rather than mis-information.”

Ms Coker’s criticism of the No campaign comes amid revelations that volunteers for a key group opposed to an indigenous voice to parliament are being trained to use lies and fear to convince Australians to vote against the change.

The Age has published details of an online training session run by activist group Advance in which volunteers are instructed to make false claims about compensation for aboriginal people should the Yes vote succeed.

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The session was conducted by former Liberal party staffer Chris Inglis, who is the national campaign chief for Advance.

According to the report volunteers were taught not to introduce themselves as No campaigners, but rather to sound like concerned citizens from the group Fair Australia who had “heard” the Voice would push for compensation for First Nations peoples.

The paper says their script includes the statement, “I’ve also heard that some of the people who helped design the Voice proposal are campaigning to abolish Australia Day and want to use the Voice to push for compensation and reparations through a treaty. All of these things raised a few questions in my mind and made me wonder if there was more to it all than meets the eye.”

A spokesman for Fair Australia told The Age volunteers were asked to identify themselves as calling from the organisation.

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