Covering the Voice Referendum


The following guidance material is designed to assist stations to understand your regulatory obligations and find trustworthy information when covering the referendum taking place on 14 October 2023 to change the Australian Constitution.

The guidance material below is designed to help all of our members:

  • understand what they need to do to accurately report on the Voice and deal with disinformation;
  • meet their obligations around referendums under broadcasting and other regulations; and
  • sensitively navigate cultural issues

The Referendum is a significant event in Australia’s history.

Community broadcasting brings its own strength to the debate through independent coverage that supports local communities to have respectful discussions. Our sector is not about clickbait and division – it is about bringing together our local communities.

Staying ahead of misinformation can be challenging. Regardless of each broadcaster’s point of view, all stations must ensure that any coverage and discussion meets the obligations of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice, including being accurate and non-discriminatory.

More than any other media sector, we are uniquely placed to be informed by First Nations perspectives and to support First Nations communities to be heard.

Of the 500+ community radio services across Australia, 143 are First Nations services, operated by 51 First Nations organisations, representing over a third of our sector. First Nations programs and presenters also appear across other community radio stations.

It is also important to be sensitive to First Nations concerns. The Referendum is passionately contested, and aspects of the debate have the potential to cause damage and distress to First Nations people who have experienced racism and intergenerational trauma from government policies, so the importance of respectful coverage cannot be overstated. As a sector we have strength in our networks and the ability to work productively with and be guided by advice from our local First Nations communities.

Guidance resources: 


CBAA Position:


Acknowledgment of Country

The CBAA acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, Traditional Owners of the land on which CBAA staff work. We pay our respect to Elders past and present.

We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We recognise the vital role First Nations and community media play in truth-telling and reconciliation.

Will Tower - Blak Douglas

'Will Tower', a painting by Koori artist and 2022 Archibald Winner Blak Douglas, was commissioned to accompany CBAA’s acknowledgment of country.