Project host Rachel Corbett has revealed her dismay at the quick defeat of the Voice referendum on Saturday night, as campaigners contemplate the way forward.

Labor’s proposed Voice to Parliament was soundly defeated in the nationwide ballot, with only a single state or territory – the ACT – voting for constitutional change.

The defeat sparked an outpouring of grief among campaigners and public figures who, despite polling predicting a defeat, were hopeful the Voice would pass.

Ms Corbett told her co-panellists on Sunday night that she had been “genuinely hopeful” heading into the ballot, but was left asking herself soon after: “That’s it?

“I could not believe how quickly it was decided. That’s it, we voted no. I am just really hopeful that the majority of people voted no for a specific thing,” she said.

“That they weren’t comfortable with this specific version of the Voice being enshrined, and not because they don’t want to improve the lives of Indigenous people.”

Ms Corbett feared Aboriginal Australians might take away from the vote that they’re not cared about, and that other Australians don’t “want to do something”.

“I‘m really hopeful that if this is not the solution, that we then find something else. Not that people were saying, we don’t want to help you.” Ms Corbett said.

Co-host Hamish McDonald said it was now the job of the country’s leaders to find the “common thread” between those who voted “Yes” and “No” on Saturday.

“Whose responsibility is it now to, as a nation, drive us forward on this path of reconciliation, which I think broadly people say is still desired or desirable,” he said.

“There are some indigenous leaders stepping back. Now, there are other leaders who’ve, I suppose, come to the fore during this. Is it on their shoulders?

“Who it is that will emerge and carry this on their shoulders, or whether actually is all of us… I suppose that’s the bit that I’m wondering about today.”

To succeed, the referendum needed a majority support from voters and from a majority of states, but only secured majority success in one territory.


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By Rahul

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