top of page

Labor MP shares Crikey article claiming The Greens can "kill" Voice referendum - is that true?

Several viral claims about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament have spread online recently.

An article from Crikey political editor Bernard Keane has claimed that The Greens are looking to "kill" a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, appearing to say they have the ability to block it in the Senate.

The piece - "Greens look to kill Voice — and hand Labor a potent weapon against them" - highlighted comments from Greens senator Lidia Thorpe, where she said a referendum is a "waste of money," and could be a "wasted exercise."

After outlining that, Keane wrote that "...given Greens’ support in the Senate will be required for the referendum if the Coalition blocks it, it could spell the end of any hope for a referendum happening in this term."

But could The Greens - or any party - really do that?

According to ABC election analyst Antony Green, it's not possible.

Green says a potential referendum could only be delayed by the Senate.

"After 3 months the legislation can be put again, and if the Senate stills blocks it, a referendum can be held without Senate passage. Failing to pass would mean the Coalition opposes as well, bad news for a referendum."

So while a delay is possible, blocking - or as Keane put it, "killing" - the Voice referendum is not something that can happen.

The article, and the claim that The Greens could "block" the Voice referendum, has now spread on social media, with Labor MP Julian Hill even sharing it via a quote tweet of James Massola, the National Affairs Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald & The Age.

"(The Greens) should be right behind the Voice Referendum, not playing footsie with the Liberals," he tweeted.

Other claims, including one that the Voice could be a "third tier of government" have also been spreading in recent weeks.

Following comments from the government about a referendum being held "in this term of government," the office of the Minister for Indigenous Australians has told 6 News that "no decision (on an exact timeline) has been made and we won’t be rushed."

"We want to consult and listen and get the details right."

Want to help stop misinformation & inform others? Share the link to this story on social media & with your family & friends using the buttons below.

See something you want fact-checked? Send us a DM on social media OR email us:

Sign up to our new free newsletter to catch up on all our original reporting you may have missed & to read the latest from the editor - click here.

Help support unbiased journalism & keep us independent: donate just $4 a month on Patreon & receive exclusive benefits.


bottom of page