Gunnedah shire’s residents had their say in the Voice to Parliament referendum on Saturday with its electorate recording the highest ‘no’ vote in NSW.
The national majority percentage favoured the ‘no’ vote with 60.73 per cent recorded against the Voice to Parliament.
The Gunnedah shire is in the Parkes electorate which covers about 49 per cent of NSW and 18 local government areas.
A total of 89,910 voters were enrolled in the Parkes electorate for the referendum.
It strongly voted against the Voice to Parliament with 79.35 per cent voting ‘no’, as of Wednesday, a significant jump from the state’s projection of 59.6 per cent.
The Gunnedah Times spoke with voters at the PCYC on Saturday with many reflecting the polling numbers.
A few voters were concerned the Voice to Parliament would divide the country.
This was the main concern for Gunnedah voter, Bill.
“I know it is going to divide the country and I would much prefer to see [where] the money has gone,” he said.
Another voter echoed the same concern.
“I am indigenous myself and it is just going to divide everything … getting someone involved is just going to make it harder. We are already divided as is, it is just going to make it 10 times worse,” she said.
Another voter in the shire was concerned there was not enough information widely known to the public, resulting in a no vote from him.
“I know nothing about it and I would like to be fully informed. The government should have sent out people to communities and informed them really of what is going on because people are not really informed as to [whether] to vote yes or no,” he said.
The voter voiced further concern of how the Voice to Parliament would capture the needs of everyone.
“The reason I am voting no is because I don’t know how it works and how those people are going to be appointed when we have got over 200 and something nations in NSW. How can one person from one nation represent another nation?” he asked.
Sasha also believes the Voice to Parliament should have been explained clearer to the public and was concerned that information was lacking.
“A lot of people have walked into this with too much uncertainty and because [of] uncertainty … false information can be spread. It was not made clear enough,” she said.
“I think I have researched enough to be confident in my decision to vote yes but … I did not make that decision straight away, it took some time to look into it on my own.”To order photos from this page click here