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Early polling opens as referendum hits home stretch

Referendum campaigners are on the home stretch with pre-polling opening, remote voting underway and less than two weeks before Australians cast their ballots.



Australians will head to the polls for the first referendum in nearly 25 years on October 14 but pre-polling booths are already opening. 


PRE-POLL:


* Early voting opened in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia on Monday


* Early voting opens in NSW, the ACT, Queensland and South Australia on Tuesday (Monday is a public holiday).


'YES' CAMP:


* Yes23 campaign director Dean Parkin was on the hustings in Melbourne


* Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed reporters in Melbourne before travelling to Hobart to meet with Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney, Tasmanian MPs and Yes23 campaigners


* The key message is voting 'yes' will give Indigenous people a say in matters that affect them and not impact the lives of most Australians or veto government decisions

'NO' CAMP:


* Opposition Indigenous Australians Minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price was in Perth


* The Indigenous senator and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton travelled around regional NSW in the week leading up to pre-poll opening


* The key message is putting the advisory body in the constitution means it will be permanent if something goes wrong and will divide the nation by race


AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION:


* 97.7 per cent of eligible Australians are enrolled to vote, a 447,000-person increase from the 2022 federal election


* There's a record-high 94.1 per cent Indigenous enrolment, up from 74.7 per cent in 2017


* 91.4 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds are enrolled


* More than 60 teams have loaded 4WDs, helicopters and planes to visit some of the smallest and most remote communities to enable them to cast their ballots


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