Australia has set the date for its first referendum in 24 years polls suggest the government is on course for failure unless it can reverse declining support.

Iran PressAsia: On October 14, more than 17 million registered voters across the country will vote on whether to change the constitution to recognize the land’s original inhabitants through a First Nations advisory group with a direct line to the government.

“On that day, every Australian will have a once in a generation chance to bring our country together and to change it for the better,” said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday.

As soon as the date was announced, the no campaign sent a text message calling for tax-deductible donations that read: “It’s on! Albo has called it and we have until OCT 14 to beat the Voice!”

Just one question will be asked that requires a “yes” or “no” answer – “A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

The question has generated hundreds of headlines and hours of debate online and on air, as both sides mount vigorous campaigns to sway the majority in all states and territories.

A double majority vote is needed for the vote to pass – that is over 50% of voters across the country, and at least 50% in a majority of states – at least four of six. Votes in the territories – the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory will only be included in the national total.

The vote is being seen as a pivotal moment, not only because constitutional change is rare and irreversible but because it has illuminated issues that have festered for centuries.


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