‘Will have their card marked’: Public servants in Victoria could be pressured to do work supporting the Voice to Parliament

Public servants in Victoria might be pressured to do work which supports the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, with some bracing for directives once the referendum date is set.

The Victorian Public Sector (VPS) Commission has flagged that some workers may be asked to undertake “work which supports the Victorian government’s alignment” with the National Cabinet’s Statement of Intent.

While they have not yet been directed to undertake work to support the proposal, a senior bureaucrat told the Herald Sun that “anyone who disagrees will have their card marked”.

Guidance released by the VPS on June 28 said the state government could request employees to promote its policies and programs, irrespective of personal views.

“In the lead up to the referendum, some employees in the Victorian public sector may be asked to undertake work which supports the Victorian Government’s alignment with the National Cabinet Statement of Intent,” it said.

“The government of the day can lawfully ask public sector employees (other than employees in special bodies) to do this as these employees must implement the policies and programs of the elected government.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is set to announce a referendum date in the “coming weeks” following consultations with cabinet and the Australian Electoral Commission.

“Then we’ll make an announcement with plenty of time, plenty of notice for people,” Mr Albanese told Sky News Australia’s Northern Correspondent Matt Cunningham on the weekend.

“The referendum has to be held sometime between two months and 33 days and six months. And so, that means that sometime between mid-September and December.

“But of course, we know that either end of those doesn’t really work.”

Meanwhile, support for enshrining a Voice into the Constitution has hit new lows.

The latest Newspoll, conducted for The Australian, revealed that support fell below 50 per cent in all six states.

It shows just 43 per cent of respondents supporting the Yes vote nationally while the No vote leads at 46 per cent.

Another survey conducted by Redbridge for News Corp sees the No campaign holding a commanding lead over the Yes camp.

The poll yielded disastrous results for Yes supporters with 56 per cent of respondents saying they would vote No with that number increasing to 59 per cent after people were told of the arguments in the official campaign pamphlets.


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