Indigenous leaders keep faith amid slide in voice polls

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Indigenous leaders are confident Australians will change their tune on a voice to parliament, despite fresh polling indicating the 'yes' campaign is in peril.

The latest poll from RedBridge between August 30 and September 4 shows 61 per cent of people intend to vote 'no', compared with 39 per cent for 'yes'.

Support to establish the Indigenous advisory body in the constitution was lowest in Queensland (35 per cent) and strongest in Victoria (45 per cent), while NSW (39 per cent) tracked with the national average.

Specific figures were not provided for other states and territories except for a general collated figure (38 per cent).

The survey was carried out after the referendum date was announced as October 14, and both before and after the launch of the 'yes' campaign ad featuring John Farnham's You're the Voice.

Former First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria co-chair Marcus Stewart said he was not nervous the referendum is slipping away for the 'yes' campaign.

"Every conversation we have out there, we're converting votes because people understand what this is," he told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

"They're not subscribing to the lies that are out there."

Mr Stewart, who was not part of the Uluru Dialogue in 2017 but attended local dialogues in Melbourne, sought to reassure that a 'yes' vote would mean "business as usual" for average Australians the morning after referendum day.

"They'll walk their dog, they'll cook their breakfast but for us we move the dial," the Nira illim bulluk man said.

Mr Stewart joined 'yes' campaigners in a walk at the Aboriginal Advancement League in Thornbury to show the level of support for the proposition in Victoria.

Aunty Jill Gallagher, a convenor of the Referendum Council's First Nations regional dialogue in Melbourne, said a successful vote would elevate Indigenous culture alongside the ancient Greeks and ancient Egyptians.

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation chief executive was adamant the polling did not track with discussions on the ground.

"I have faith that Australians aren't easily hoodwinked," she said.

"I have faith that Australian citizens will see through all the untruths and all the lies that are currently out there in the 'no' campaign."

It comes as fellow Indigenous leader Noel Pearson accused prominent 'no' campaigner Jacinta Nampijinpa Price of causing a breakdown in bipartisan support for the voice.

Mr Pearson said the opposition's Indigenous Australians spokeswoman had been "very compelling" in arguing against the voice.

"Our attempt all along was to maintain bipartisanship on this, and we maintained it for nine years," he told ABC's Insiders.

"The bipartisanship broke when (Nationals leader David) Littleproud, forced by the Indigenous affairs (spokesperson), decided suddenly late last year that they would be opposing the voice whereas previously they had supported it.

"She set the policy for the National Party, and of course, the Liberals followed later."

Senator Price has been contacted for comment.

However, Mr Pearson said the referendum "absolutely" has a chance of winning.

"I just don't believe when the hand of friendship and reconciliation is extended from Indigenous people that at the end of the day, their love will be unrequited," he said.

"This unrequited love is my worst nightmare, I just don't believe Australians are capable of that, at this time in our history."

Postal vote applications for the poll will open on Monday.