Jacinta Price calls for equal funding Voice to Parliament campaigns

Senator warns Voice referendum open to foreign interference.

Jacinta Price calls for equal funding Voice to Parliament campaigns
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Country Liberal Senator Jacinta Price has warned that the Voice to Parliament referendum will be open to foreign interference and electoral law breaches unless both sides of the campaign are provided with official funding.

She told Sky News Australia on Tuesday that equal funding ensured fairness and provided protection against interference.

“We want to be able to have a well-informed watertight referendum that doesn’t allow for things like foreign interference, where there’s oversight in terms of donation and to ensure that Australians are receiving the right information and not misinformation,” she said.

The Albanese government has said it will not provide equal funding for the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns, which was a condition of Coalition support for the referendum’s enabling legislation.

Without Coalition support, the government will rely on the Greens and crossbenchers to pass legislation in the Senate for the referendum to go ahead.

The argument over funding comes as the latest Newspoll showed support for the Voice had fallen slightly in the last month.

The poll, conducted between March 1 and March 4, showed support for the constitutional change had dropped to 53 per cent, down from 56 per cent in February.

The survey of 1530 voters showed those against the voice had risen one point to 38 per cent. The larger shift was among "undecided" voters, which rose from 7 to 9 per cent.

Price told Sky News she believed the “lack of detail” was the reason for the proposal’s flagging support.

“Australians want to have all the information before them, they want to know exactly what it is that they’re voting on and at this stage that’s not very clear for them, it’s about as clear as mud," she said.

“In terms of the argument I’m putting forward on the 'No' side, it's outlining the facts... and the fact of the matter remains that it’s actually a very concerning prospect going forward.

"This is a referendum that looks to amend our constitution and divide us along the lines of race, because it is specific to Aboriginal Australians.

"Australians aren’t silly. They don’t want to be divided along the lines of race and they clearly don’t view all aboriginal people as in need of special measures, because there are those of us that are clearly leading successful lives, and perhaps they ought to take care of Australians on the basis of need."

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