Council questioned on Voice support


Hannah Hammoud

Brimbank council’s ‘Yes’ campaign in support of the Voice to Parliament has come with a price tag of more than $10,000.

At a council meeting on August 22, resident’s used public question time to criticise council’s decision to launch the campaign.

Last month council launched the ‘Together Yes’ campaign. As part of this commitment, council said over the coming months, it would be actively promoting information to the Brimbank community and council staff to build understanding and promote a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum.

Council said as part of the campaign, videos, posters and social media would be used to promote Brimbank’s support, as well as providing opportunities for people to learn more about the referendum.

A question submitted by a resident at the meeting on August 22, asked council to reveal the cost of the campaign and explain why it had involved itself in federal government politics.

Brimbank mayor Bruce Lancashire said to date, the cost incurred by council in support of the Voice to Parliament, totals $10,876.

“While the Voice to Parliament referendum is led by the federal government, this is a matter that concerns all Australians,” Cr Lancashire said.

“Council’s decision to support the Voice to Parliament and recognition of the Uluru statement is consistent with the Australian Local Government Association resolution to acknowledge what the voice will mean for Australia’s first nations peoples and the broader community.”

Cr Lancashire fielded probing questions from residents by reiterating council’s commitment to reconciliation.

Council said it recognises that there are different views within the community, and is encouraging residents to have respectful conversations.

The campaign was launched by council in July alongside the Brimbank Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee (BATSICC).

Speaking about the campaign, BATSICC member and Aboriginal elder, Uncle Shane Charles said the Voice to Parliament is an opportunity for Indigenous Australians to be recognised in the constitution.

“It’s an opportunity for all Australians to walk together with First Nations people,” he said.