Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is encouraging constituents to take the time to regroup and recover after what has been a very difficult process leading up to the 2023 Referendum on a Voice to Parliament.
“From the beginning my main concern with this Referendum was the effect it would have on my constituents, and this has been extremely damaging for many people,” Mr Coulton said.
“After the results we’ve seen, the majority of Australians were clearly not in support of this proposed change, and I know this will be deeply disappointing for those who put all of their hopes for positive progress into the Yes campaign.
“This is not the end of positive change for Aboriginal Australians, and as I have been saying in speeches and interviews recently – this is not the beginning either. There are many examples of positive change already occurring, and I believe we should build on these strengths as a way forward for all Australians.
“For a party which has hung their hat on listening, Labor has demonstrated terrible listening skills in the way they conducted this entire Referendum. We cannot move forward as a nation without including the whole nation, and Labor refused to listen to everyday Australians who are already struggling under the burden of cost of living, especially in regional areas.
“The Referendum highlighted a significant divide between the responses of those in cities compared to regional areas, and I want to make the point that Labor needs to start genuinely listening to the regions instead of existing in urban echo chambers if it wants to lead this country well.
“As we pick up the pieces from the Voice to Parliament Referendum, I am encouraging Australians of all backgrounds not to be discouraged and to build on the positive.
“We do not have a perfect country, but we do have plenty to celebrate – let’s find what works, let’s set our eyes on the future, and let’s continue to work towards better outcomes for all Australians.”