Matt Shirvington has questioned Anthony Albanese about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, who claims it would fail if a referendum were held next weekend.
The new Sunrise presenter made the extraordinary claim on Monday morning following the release of a new poll that showed support for The Voice continues to fall.
The Newspoll was released on Sunday and found the no vote at 47 percent and the yes side at 43 percent.
Mr Albanese has been determined to go ahead with a referendum arguing that the constitution’s recognition of Indigenous Australians was an unfinished business.
Shirvington used a cricket analogy to describe dwindling support for The Voice, telling the Prime Minister that the latest results “don’t look good” for the Yes cause.
“If the referendum to anchor the vote were held next weekend, it would fail,” he said.
Support for an Indigenous vote in parliament has fallen in a new poll showing the no vote is leading among voters at large and in a majority of states
More Australians will vote no. You said you can’t win the Ashes if you stay in the barn because of a postponement of the referendum.
‘Do you still feel this way? You can’t win the Ashes if you’re down nine wickets and still have 100 to chase.’
A defiant Albanian remains confident about the referendum and doubled down with a renewed pitch to Aussies to support The Voice later this year.
He was referring to the heroic efforts of batting tail-enders Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon as they helped Australia to a thrilling two wicket win in the first Ashes against England a week ago.
“I’d be wary of making predictions, especially if it were Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins. They could well take the points, as we found out last week,” he said.
“But look, this is an opportunity for Australians to amend our Constitution to recognize Indigenous Australians in it and I think it’s an unfinished business.”
“It is incomplete while we fail to recognize the great privilege we have of sharing this continent with the oldest continuous culture on Earth.
“People will really focus on this once the campaign actually runs. They will look at what are the words that are put forward, another will recognize that the great benefit of this will be and there really is no downside.
“I am hopeful that Australians will seize this opportunity.”
Anthony Albanese (right) brushed off some tough questions from new Sunrise host Matt Shirvington (pictured left with co-host Monique Wright)
Shirvington asked if the latest polls were a grim reality for the Yes cause before the prime minister fired back.
‘It is always easier to put forward a no argument in a referendum. Therefore, the success rate is about 8 in 48.
But this is an important change. This is a promise for a long period since the last century. We said it was necessary to recognize Indigenous Australians in our constitution.
“This with a first referendum held this century, giving every Australian the opportunity, and I am confident that Australians will take that opportunity to say yes in the referendum in the last quarter of this year.”
The referendum to create the vote as a means of constitutional recognition for indigenous peoples can only be passed by a majority vote and must also be approved by a majority of states.
According to the latest Newspoll of 2,303 voters conducted between June 16 and June 24, overall support for the vote is down three points to just 43 percent.
Subsequently, the no vote rose four points to 47 percent, a lead for the time since Newspoll began tracking support.
Equally alarming for the Yes case is that four of the six states are now voting for a No vote.
Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania are all on track to reject the vote.
The Yes 23 campaign offers one-time grants of up to $15,000 to encourage further engagement and conversations about the importance of a successful referendum.
It is hoped that the grants will help regional and national community groups organize ‘yes’ activities and forums.
Indigenous community organizations have also been encouraged to apply for financial assistance.
Legislation for a referendum on an Indigenous vote in parliament was passed by the Senate on Monday, meaning the vote must take place in the next six months (Photo: Anthony Albanese at Garma Festival in northeastern Arnhem Land, NT in 2022)
Yes 23 campaign manager Dean Parkin said hundreds of community events have already been held to support a ‘yes’ vote and the fund would support more conversations across Australia.
“It’s about making sure that people, no matter where they live, can be informed about how a voice will truly empower Indigenous people in solving unique challenges in areas such as health, housing and education,” he said.
Thousands of ‘yes’ events are expected to be held between now and the day of the referendum.
There are over 100 active community-based ‘yes’ groups and nearly 10,000 volunteers.
More than 500 organizations, including businesses, faith groups and sports organizations, have already confirmed their support for the ‘yes’ campaign.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton claims Australians are not ready to vote on the vote as proposed because there are unanswered questions about how the advisory body will work.
Home Secretary Clare O’Neil said support for the Indigenous vote would grow after the debate was moved out of parliament.
“We’re going to win this referendum through millions of conversations taking place at kitchen tables and in front of doors,” she told ABC Radio on Monday.
“It’s very hard to get a referendum in this country and what we need to do now is have those millions of conversations that will change hearts and minds.”
What we know so far about the Voice to Parliament
Here, Daily Mail Australia looks at some of the top questions on the Voice so far, and how the government has addressed them:
What advice can The Voice give to parliament and the government?
The Voice advises on matters directly related to indigenous peoples.
It will respond to government requests, while also having the power to proactively address issues they believe affect them.
The group will have its own resources to research and engage with communities at grassroots level to ensure it best reflects their needs.
How are the members of the Voice chosen?
Members of the Voice are appointed by indigenous communities and will serve on the committee for a fixed period to be determined.
The way the communities choose their representatives will be agreed by the local communities with the government as part of a ‘post-referendum process’ to ensure cultural legitimacy.
Who can join the committee?
Members of the Voice must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
They are elected from every state and territory and have a balanced representation of men and women at the national level.
The government has also guaranteed that young people will be included on the committee to ensure representation across the broad scope of the community.
Will the vote be transparent?
The government states that The Voice will be subject to auditing and reporting requirements to ensure it is held accountable and remains transparent.
Voice members will be held to National Anti-Corruption Commission standards and will be disciplined or removed from the committee if misconduct is found.
Will the Voice have veto power?
Does The Voice operate independently of other government agencies?
The committee must respect the work and role of existing organizations, says the government.
Will the voice handle money?
The Voice will not manage money directly or provide services to the community.
Its only role will be to comment on improving existing government programs and services, and advise on new ideas coming through the parties.