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‘No’ vote wins: How City of Whittlesea residents voted in the referendum

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Grace Frost
Grace Frost
Hi, I'm Grace Frost. I was honoured to report for the Review as their Digital Journalist from mid-2022 to the beginning of 2024. Ive since made a move to the Herald Sun.

By Grace Frost

The proposal to introduce a Voice to Parliament was defeated on Saturday, as more than 54,000 voters from the McEwen electorate joined the Australian majority to reject the referendum with a ‘no’ vote.

Australian Electoral Commission, AEC, data has revealed how voters in the City of Whittlesea compared with those Australia-wide.

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As of Sunday night, 22,430 votes had been tallied from 15 polling locations stationed in the City of Whittlesea within the McEwen electorate.

Of those, 245 votes were not included in the result due to being filled out incorrectly.

At the City of Whittlesea polling stations, 60 per cent voted ‘no’, while 40 per cent voted ‘yes’ – the results within decimal places of matching the national result.

Only one polling place in the area of the City of Whittlesea within McEwen recorded a majority ‘yes’ vote – St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Mernda at 50.8 per cent.

Polling stations that received the highest proportion of ‘no’ votes include at the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Mill Park, 69 per cent; Whittlesea Secondary College, 68 per cent; Whittlesea Primary School, 66 per cent; and Yan Yean Tennis Club, 63 per cent.

As of Sunday night, 90,046 votes from the wider McEwen region had been tallied.

Of the 39 federal electorates in Victoria, McEwen recorded the 11th highest ‘no’ vote.

Senator James Paterson, who is also patron Senator for McEwen, said Parliament should focus on addressing the cost of living pressures rather than funding the referendum.

“Every engagement I’ve had in northern Melbourne shows that locals are overwhelmingly concerned about jobs, the economy, and cost of living,” he said.

“Labor has ignored these issues whilst spending over $450 million on a divisive referendum.

“The ACT being the only state or territory to vote ‘yes’ shows that this really was a Canberra Voice, and not a solution for the suburbs of Melbourne.”

State Liberal Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Evan Mulholland said voting against the Voice to Parliament was not a rejection of Indigenous Australians.

“We must all rally and unite to close those gaps in life outcomes which, to this day, deny so many First Nations people the dignity and equality of opportunity they deserve,” he said.

“We’ve seen all local, state and federal Labor MPs dedicating their time to promoting a complex constitution change when the reality is locals want their roads fixed and cost of living lowered.”

Labor Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said he respected the ‘no’ decision despite it not being the outcome he had hoped for.

“In a free and open democratic society, you have wins and losses, and at the end of the day, the Australian people have had their say,” he said.

“We know our Indigenous people are hurting immensely and we will stand with them and use this to achieve better outcomes.”

Counting of votes continues until October 27 to ensure retrieval of all postal entries.

* The 15 polling booths in the City of Whittlesea used to generate the data in this report do not include those that fall in the Scullin electorate, only McEwen.

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