‘We tried everything else’: NDIS Minister Bill Shorten stands by Voice to Parliament in face of unfavourable polling

Bill Shorten has sought to defend the Voice to Parliament after a new poll showed support for the constitutionally enshrined body has slipped in the wake of renewed attacks from the Opposition.

The Resolve Political Monitor poll, published in the Nine newspapers, found 47 per cent of voters supported the plan which is down from the 53 per cent just last September.

A number of the 3,000 respondents were undecided, with that figure up to 23 per cent from 19 per cent.

Asked whether the government needed to go back to the drawing board, Mr Shorten said everything else has been tried.

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“We have been going back to the drawing board essentially since 1788,” he told Sky News Australia on Monday.

“We tried everything else, when it comes to decision making in this country, I personally believe it’s a fundamental principle of mine that when you make decisions about people, make them with people.

“So the principle in the Voice is you would consult first nations people about policies affecting them.

“The Voice isn’t going to give a veto power; the Parliament is sovereign.”

Mr Shorten’s comments come after Federal Labor MP Mario Scrymgour, who holds the seat of Lingiari, said the Voice was the last thing on people’s minds in Alice Springs following an uptick in youth crime.

“I think the Voice couldn‘t be further from people’s view up here because people are under siege in their own home,” Ms Scrymgour told 3AW.

“People that I know that might have been sympathetic to constitutional reform and the Voice and looking at the referendum have become really frustrated because nothing‘s been done.

“So they’ve gone to the opposite thing of ‘well why should we support the Voice if we can’t even get police to protect me while I’m sleeping in my own home’.”

Despite calls for the government to shift its focus to Alice Springs, Mr Shorten said both issues would get air time.

“I think they’re separate issues. The crisis in Alice Springs is right now, the referendum will be towards the end of the year,” he said.

“This nation’s capital is thinking about more than one thing at a time. But the issue in Alice Springs obviously warrants immediate attention.”

Albanese asking for a 'blank cheque' based on the 'vibe' of the Voice

Meanwhile the Opposition has continued to ramp up attacks on the Government over its lack of detail surrounding the upcoming referendum.

Liberal leader Peter Dutton renewed calls for the Prime Minister to consider legislating the Voice in Parliament when it returns next week.

“The Prime Minister has the ability to legislate the Voice next week when Parliament returns he has an absolute majority in the lower house,” Mr Dutton told Sunday Agenda.

“He has control of the senate with the Greens and he could introduce his model of the Voice and demonstrate how it could work to help those children, to bring an end to that violence.

“It’s not so much in my mind whether or not there’s a Voice, it’s whether there’s action from the government to address the very legitimate concerns that people including Indigenous women and elders raised with me in Alice Springs.”

He has also rejected the argument there was ample information about the proposed body specifically in the 2021 Calma-Langton Indigenous Voice Co-design Process report.