Thursday, September 14, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Yes 23, Hits The Streets

Energy is building ahead of The Voice referendum which is due to take place on October 14 and local group, Yes 23, are encouraging everyone to get involved with supporting the movement.

The group are inviting the community down to the Airlie Beach Markets to meet them this Saturday, and they will also be hosting a relaxed social gathering at Banjo’s at 4pm that day.

In addition, there will be a peaceful march this Sunday at Whitsunday Plaza from 11am.

The group will give away merchandise and participants are encouraged to bring signs.

A highly contentious issue, The Voice has become a talking point both nationally and locally.

If The Voice To Parliament goes ahead, an indigenous ‘voice’ will be enshrined in the constitution and indigenous people have a bigger say on issues that affect them.

Those who oppose The Voice, however, believe it adds race to the constitution and that it is a symbolic gesture that will not fix systemic issues.

Yes 23, however, are eager to spread the word about the positive impacts of The Voice.

Local Yes 23 coordinator, Deb Barrow, said she is getting behind the cause because she believes it will reduce the gap in issues such as infant mortality rates, overall health, and living standards.

“Every government over the generations have done the same thing,” she said.

“They’ve tried to tell the indigenous people what they need and put a lot of money into these communities, but it’s not been working.”

Louise Mahony from Yes 23 agrees, saying that for her, it is about reducing costs.

“Billions of dollars have been wasted on Aboriginal affairs and getting no-where,” she said.

“I just want us to stop wasting money!”

WHAT: Yes 23 March

WHERE: Whitsunday Plaza

WHEN: Sunday, September 17 from 11am

Deb Barrow and Louise Mahony from Yes 23. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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