Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer has pledged $2m to the No campaign in the final weeks before the Voice to parliament referendum.
The bulk of that money is set to be used for a last-minute advertising blitz in South Australia and Tasmania, both considered must-win seats for both sides of the debate.
Total advertising spend for the Voice is set to near $30m by October 14, with both the No camp and Yes23 focusing on the final weeks of the campaign.
Mr Palmer, who spent $117m for his political party United Australia Party in the 2022 election to win just one seat, told The Australian he would also involve his company Mineralogy.
He told the newspaper he had not consulted with Indigenous leaders, and that his campaign was not associated with the official No campaign.
“We’re spending the money to put our point of view forward. We’re targeting Tasmania and South Australia. We’ll be advertising in all the states but will be focusing on them,” Mr Palmer said.
It’s cheaper to spend advertising in Tassie and South Australia.
“I think the No case will win. My prediction is 30 per cent Yes when we get to the polling date.
“If you look at it in the proper context, the most important thing in Australia is not Yes or No at the moment, it’s the cost-of-living and how the average Australian is going to make his way.”
Given a referendum needs a majority of votes and a majority of states to be successful, both sides of the campaign are trying to court South Australia and Tasmania.
Western Australia and Queensland are largely considered lost to the Yes camp, while Victoria and NSW are more likely to support the change.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said while the fear campaigns being propped up by multimillion donations could be powerful, “you never change for the better through fear”.
“You change it through hope,” he told ABC Sydney.
“That’s what this referendum is about.”
He said the campaign would spend the last few weeks making it clear to Australians, especially those undecided and soft no’s, that a Voice was about recognition and listening.
Remote voting began across the country this week, with pre-polling starting on Monday and Tuesday.