Anthony Albanese, who once insisted it would be a “brave” government that ignored the Voice, now says he would ignore the Voice if wanted to change the date of Australia Day.
The Prime Minister categorically ruled out changing the date during a fiery interview with 2GB radio’s Ben Fordham.
“What we say is we have no plans to change Australia day,” Albanese said.
When Fordham asked specifically if Albanese would say no to the Voice, he replied: “Of course we will, if we don’t agree with them of course we will as is made very clear by the wording put forward is that the parliament remains supreme.”
This was completely at odds with the Prime Minister’s remarks in July 2022 when he was asked on the ABC if he would follow the advice of the Voice.
Mr Albanese said at the time: “It would be a very brave government that said it shouldn’t”.
With polls showing support for the Voice has now dropped well below 50 per cent, the Prime Minister’s interview was regarded as incredibly important.
But it rapidly resembled a train wreck for the PM as he was constantly forced to contradict many of the Voice’s key architects.
The Prime Minister rejected Professor Meghan Davis’ claim that the Voice would “be able to speak to all parts” of government including the public service and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
“I can’t talk directly to the RBA board and I’m the Prime Minister,” Mr Albanese said tersely.
The PM also rejected Thomas Mayo’s assertion that the Voice would be a “first step” in paying reparations and compensation to Indigenous Australians as part of a treaty.
“I can’t say it any clearer, compensation has nothing to do with what people will vote on in the last quarter this year,” Albanese said.
People were quick to point out that the PM was careful not to say that treaty and reparations would not follow the Voice, only that treaty and reparations were not what was being voted on at the referendum.
The much-vaunted Uluru Statement from the Heart, which the Albanese Government has fully committed to, calls for Voice, Truth Telling and Treaty.