Australia you dodged a bullet

As the dust settles on a bruising, divisive, reckless, even negligent national campaign, many of us are reviewing what went wrong and what might have been.

First let’s dispel a few myths from the Yes23 campaign.

In the wake of their loss Yes23 activists have failed to grasp why Australians voted with a resounding No. They won’t or can’t accept responsibility for a disaster of their making.

Desperately searching for a scapegoat their fingers are pointing at the ‘disinformation campaign’ and ‘Dutton’.

In truth the disinformation came exclusively from the Yes camp. The only information available was dragged out of the Uluru Statement, predominantly by Peta Credlin who exposed the true nature of the Voice agenda.

When that information, the basis of the Voice, was scrutinised, most Australians said ‘No’.

That’s not disinformation.

That’s information – information Anthony Albanese and his elite radical cohorts tried to contain from the Australian public.

Albanese’s attempt to portray Constitutional change as a ‘modest proposal’, a ‘generous gesture’..etc. was, at best, a deception.

A ‘Voice’ is part 1 of the Uluru Statement – the precursor for what would come next. When Albanese was questioned on this point by Ben Fordham on 2GB during the campaign, he denied it, then telling Neil Mitchell on 3AW he hadn’t even read the Uluru Statement in full, despite proclaiming on his election victory night he would implement the Uluru Statement “in full”.

Had the change to the Constitution got up, it would have laid the foundation for the next two stages of the Uluru Statement – part 2. Treaty and part 3. Truth (Reparations, Pay the Rent and Sovereignty).

This is not ‘disinformation’. It’s there in black and white in the entire Uluru Statement.

One of the Voice architects, Thomas Mayo(r) explains in his own words here:

When Mayo(r)’s radical agenda came to the surface, he pivoted, pretending nothing he said previously meant anything.

On referendum voting night, when asked why he thought the voice failed, Mayo(r) had the temerity to blame “a disinformation campaign”.

I could dissect each of the Yes23 Campaign architect’s historic words showing it wasn’t what anybody else said that killed their referendum. Their own arrogance and hubris prior to the referendum had returned to haunt them.

Noel Pearson’s abusive language of the past was tempered as a time for ‘love’, Marcia Langton’s historic racist rants resulted in her hiding in the last weeks of the campaign, Megan Davis’ telling us for years the Uluru Statement was 18 pages then reversing to “Just 1 page’ to help the hapless Prime Minister get out of a self-dug hole, Teela Reid’s nasty, hateful race-based videos meant she had to be kept in the closet, Linda Burney’s refusal to debate Jacinta Price caused suspicion and distrust, Mayo(r)’s past saw him tone down the rhetoric. In the last days, Anthony Albanese’s “Commitment to the Uluru Statement in full’ switched to “a modest proposal” and public displays of tears…) while Australia watched on, largely not convinced.

If Yes23 proponents want to point the finger, buy a mirror.

A Voice embedded in the Australian Constitution was always a step too far, an attempt by a cabal of lifetime radical socialists and avowed communists to destroy the foundation and fabric of our nation and to set up a separate chamber of government.

Voice co-architect Marcia Langton didn’t try to hide it saying, “People who are opposing (the voice referendum) are saying we are destroying the fabric of their sacred Constitution. Yes, that’s right, that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Perennial student activist and now Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese gave these fellow travellers a free shot at our sacred Constitution. Australia responded with a collective face palm.

“The mob will always work you out…” former Labor numbers man Grahame Richardson would often say.

So where to now?

We still have a ‘gap’ between some aboriginals and non-aboriginal Australians – but also between some aboriginals and other aboriginals.

The answer, in my opinion, lies in the lived wisdom of my aboriginal friend, Anthony ‘Tony’ Dillon who believes closing the gap means we cannot leave communities to waste away in remote, desolate areas where no opportunities exist.

Tony told me recently during a visit to my home, “If the opportunity won’t come to these distant communities, those communities must go to the opportunities.”

Tony Abbott says, “We need indigenous men to go to work every day and indigenous children to go to school.”

These two men have worked tirelessly all their lives within and for aboriginal communities. They have more insight than our Sydney-based Indigenous Minister and our FIFO Prime Minister.

I couldn’t agree with the two Tonys more.

Closing the gap is no great mystery.

Throwing money at remote, unforgiving, desolate shanty town communities is a dead-end, resulting only in directionless despair, hopelessness, frustration, anger, violence, and alcohol and sexual abuse.

Closing the gap is built on opportunity and commitment to a purpose each day.

Australia’s success has been built on the tens of millions of immigrants searching for an opportunity then going to where the opportunity exists.

My own father, Giovanni Zanetti, at just 21 years of age, left his war torn Northern Italian village, hopped on a boat for 3 months and ended up in Far North Queensland cutting cane, a far cry from the snowy alp village he knew half a world away.

He wasn’t the only one.

When Giovanni Zanetti came to Australia he had nothing more than the clothes in his back, alone knowing nobody. Not so much stolen, but displacement by necessity.

After arriving in a strange, faraway land he got stuck in and worked from daybreak to nightfall.

He raised 6 boys, paid for their private Catholic education without government handouts, eventually employing over 200 men in the steel industry, with no formal education.

He bought a weekend hobby farm, and made it a commercial success. We were his ‘free farm hands’ while our school mates were surfing the weekends away. There’s no secret to success, or closing the poverty gap. Get off the grog, get off your arse, chase opportunity and watch that gap magically close.

My indigenous friend Tony Dillon has his own success story, carving out his own career in academia, and now a regular columnist in our only national newspaper and a sought after TV commentator.

Tony’s own father, Colin, another aboriginal success story, was the first aboriginal policeman – an honest Queensland Cop who stood up to corruption and brought down convicted corrupt Police Commissioner Terry Lewis, a stand that shook the Bjelke-Petersen government to its core. (Read: Code of Silence- How one honest police officer took on Australia’s most corrupt police force – available online).

There are so many successful aborigines who have closed their own poverty gap.

Skin colour, or heritage is irrelevant. Australians don’t care where you come from as long as you have a go.

The list of admirable and successful aborigines is a long one.

Some of the higher profile success stories include:

Albert Namatjira (Artist)

Neville Bonner (Politician)

Evonne Goolagong Cawley (Champion tennis player)

Cathy Freeman (Olympic gold medal winner)

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (Politician)

Ernie Dingo (Actor)

Archie Roach (Singer)

Mark Ella (Rugby Union)

Arthur Beetson (Rugby League)

Lionel Rose(Boxer)

Leah Purcell (Actress)

Jessica Mauboy (Singer)

Samantha Harris (Model)

Deborah Mailman (Actress)

Bronwyn Bancroft (Fashion Designer)


And there are tens of thousands of successful aboriginals who stay under the radar in all areas of life.

12,000 to 16,000 businesses in Australia are ‘indigenous owned’ according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Given their 3% representation of the Australian population, this is an incredible story of success.

Aboriginals are successful in all areas of commerce and industry including construction, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, wholesale/retail, education and health.

We see aboriginal TV hosts every day, in politics where there is often representation overly proportionate to the aboriginal population.

Considering that aborigines make up just 3% of the population, in Greater Sydney Indigenous businesses make up 14% of businesses (878). In the rest of NSW that figure rises to 22% (1,332).

In Greater Melbourne the number is closer to the population representation at 4% (230 businesses) with the rest of Victoria at 3% (208).

In Greater Brisbane the number is 7% (450 businesses) and 17% for the rest of Queensland (1.028).

There are thousands of aboriginal lawyers, working and practicing their trade each day. Entertainers, trades, politicians…each one closing the gap, day by day.

Working Australians don’t need to fund billions of dollars a year or injecting some manufactured ‘voice’ into the Constitution.

We don’t need to divide the country with two flags, welcomes to country, smoking ceremonies or a separate sovereign nation. These agendas serve only the radical activists.

These agendas do nothing for the rest of Australia including aboriginals, who rejected the voice referendum. Regions with the highest representation of aborigines delivered the biggest percentages of No votes.

So much for Albanese’s claim that 80% of aborigines were voting Yes.

Individual aboriginals are closing their own gaps.

The next step?

Jacinta Price is right to call for an audit on where the billions of dollars of taxpayer money each year have gone. Just a trickle ends up in remote communities showing not much return for the spend.

A Royal Commission is next.

Then, as Tony Dillon correctly observes, if the opportunity won’t come to remote, marginalised communities we must encourage and incentivise marginalised communities to go to the opportunities.

It’s not as if we don’t need more productive workers.

Who knows? We might close a few gaps.