The BGA Australia Team, led by Managing Director Michael “Mick” McNeill, wrote an update to clients on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum.


  • Australians will vote October 14 on whether to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party is campaigning vigorously for the “yes” case in favor of the amendment; however, polls show the “no” vote is on track for victory amid conjecture over what powers the Voice would have.
  • The referendum will ask voters whether to alter the Constitution to recognize the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to advise the legislature. The Voice would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples greater representation in Parliament and the executive government on matters relating to them. Parliament would have powers to make laws with respect to the Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.


  • Polls show the referendum is on track for defeat. Constitutional change has been historically difficult in Australia.

  • A “double majority” would be needed for the referendum to pass: a majority of the national vote and a majority of voters in a majority of states — four or more of the six states. Demographic analysis of Newspoll surveys between May 31 and July 15 show the “yes” vote ahead in only two states — South Australia and New South Wales — and tied in Victoria. The “no” camp was leading in Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
  • The Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce is working to prevent interference with the referendum, including cyber and physical security incidents, misinformation and disinformation campaigns and perceived and actual interference in electoral processes. The Taskforce includes the Australian Electoral Commission, Department of Home Affairs, Australian Signals Directorate and Office of National Intelligence.


  • Corporate Australia has demonstrated widespread support for the Voice. Some “no” campaigners have accused Big Tech of censoring posts, and “yes” supporters have accused some “no” campaigners of spreading misinformation online. Government agencies are monitoring and responding to threats to electoral integrity such as cyber incidents and online misinformation and disinformation campaigns.
  • Companies should note that the Australian government is developing legislation that would empower the Australian Communications and Media Authority to hold digital platforms accountable for harmful misinformation and disinformation online.

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in Australia as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Australia Managing Director Michael “Mick” McNeill at

Best regards,

BGA Australia Team