The emphatic result of the Voice referendum is a loud and clear call for unity.
The outcome proves that most Victorians proudly believe we are all Australians, regardless of our heritage, and that disadvantage in all parts of our society needs to be addressed.
As Victorians, we don’t want more division. We want unity of purpose and are tired of those elites who talk down on us and tell us how to live our lives.
Our national anthem says “we are one and free” and The Nationals are committed to that statement for all Victorians – including our indigenous Victorians.
This was a referendum that we did not need to have. Pushed by elites and the Albanese Labor Government, it was a virtue-signalling and divisive distraction from the real work of government.
Now, Victorians – and the nation – have spoken.
It is now time that Labor governments focus on real issues and real solutions.
We must all rally, unite and redouble efforts to actually close those gaps in life outcomes which, to this day, deny so many indigenous people the dignity and equality of opportunity they deserve.
And with the referendum done, we must now sharpen our focus on a raft of other key issues.
Our communities need action on the cost of living, the lack of housing, the dangerous state of our roads, and the unequal education opportunities for our children.
With the distracting and divisive referendum behind us, the real work starts now.
Peter Walsh MP
Leader of The Nationals
Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs