Leader of the Australian Conservatives Cory Bernardi is planning for one million robocalls to be made to one million Australian homes advocating a ‘no’ vote.
The calls will go out to landlines in South Australia and Victoria, where the Conservatives have an upper house MP, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Hello, it’s Senator Cory Bernardi calling you from the Australian Conservatives, and I’d like to ask you something very important – so please, stay on the line for just a moment,” he says in the recording.
“As a parent I’m deeply concerned about how changing the Marriage Act will affect families and children.
“Changing the Marriage Act will limit the right of parents to object to radical gay sex education and gender ideology programs from being taught in schools.
“Removing gender from marriage means removing it from all areas of our society, including our schools.”
Bernardi confirmed that the robocall campaign would be paid for by the Australian Conservatives, but wouldn’t confirm the exact cost.
“That’s like asking how much pocket money I give my wife,” he said.
The move comes after text messages were sent to randomly generated numbers around the country over the weekend by the Yes campaign, to mixed responses.
Bernardi has defended the robocalls, but maintains that the Yes campaign’s text message was “invasive”, in an interview with Sky News.
“I’m asking South Australian constituents and some in Victoria as well, because we’ve got MPs here, what their view of marriage is, and whether they want to see the redefined or not,” he said.
“So this is just polling an electorate, it’s the stock in trade of any political business, and it’s not invasive like sending text messages to unlisted numbers or to 12-year-olds telling them how to vote.”