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Australia votes 'no' to voice in the constitution as local MP welcomes result

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More than half of Australians have rejected a referendum to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution.

The national tally stood at 60 per cent for the ‘no’ vote and 40 per cent for ‘yes’.

Queensland voters were resoundingly against the constitutional change, with the ‘no’ case securing over 67 per cent.

The ACT was the only jurisdiction to support the reform, but its tally only goes towards the national vote and not the state-by-state total.

Sunshine Coast MP Andrew Wallace said he welcomed the result of the referendum.

His Fisher electorate voted down the proposal with 68 per cent ‘no’ and 32 per cent ‘yes’.

“Australians have categorically rejected Labor’s divisive and reckless voice proposal,” Mr Wallace said.

“I couldn’t be prouder to see Fisher return a solid ‘No’ vote.

“Australians everywhere saw right through Labor’s ‘vibe’ to see the stark reality that Mr Albanese has no plan to bring our country together.”

Mr Wallace reaffirmed his commitment to constitutional recognition and closing the gap.

“No one disputes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have suffered historical injustices in the past,” he said.

“We all want a better lot for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. But we cannot let the loudest voices take hostage the cause of genuine reconciliation.”

In other Sunshine Coast electorates, Fairfax voted 65 per cent ‘no’ to 35 per cent ‘yes’, and Wide Bay voted 75 per cent ‘no’ to 25 per cent ‘yes’.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends a Yes23 street stall in Canberra. Picture: AAP

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese vowed the rejection of a constitutional Indigenous voice by voters would not define the nation.

He said the road to reconciliation with Indigenous Australians had not ended despite the referendum outcome, and that a new way forward was needed with the same level of optimism.

“Just as the Uluru Statement from the Heart was an invitation extended with humility, grace and optimism for the future, tonight we must meet this result with the same grace and humility, and tomorrow we must seek a new way forward with the same optimism,” he said on Saturday.

“This moment of disagreement does not define us, and it will not divide us. We are not ‘yes’ voters or ‘no’ voters. We are all Australians.”

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said the result was a day of sadness.

“I know this outcome will be hard for some, but achieving progress is never easy, and progress doesn’t always move in a straight line,” she said.

In a statement, the ‘yes’ campaign said many would be deeply saddened and disheartened by the result.

“This referendum represented a promise made to Indigenous Australians for a better future, and its a promise we must find a way to keep,” the statement said.

‘No’ campaigner Warren Mundine said advocates against the proposal had engaged with the community.

“I knew that we could win every state, and that we could have a chance to get the majority vote,” he told ABC.

“The reality is that we went and spoke to the people out there.”

About 6.1 million Australians voted early and 2.1 million eligible voters applied for a postal ballot, with about 9.2 million Australians casting their vote on Saturday.

Saturday’s vote was the first referendum held in Australia for 24 years.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

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