A Facebook reel (archived here) from leading ‘no’ vote campaign group Fair Australia is captioned: “Albo might be lost for words, but voice architects Teela Reid and Thomas Mayo are happy to tell you all about it.”
The video starts with The Project host Hamish MacDonald asking the prime minister: “If the voice disagrees with the government of the day on something, who has primacy there?”
As MacDonald finishes his question, the video – which up to that point shows the pair in split screen – cuts to a close-up of a silent Mr Albanese.
The vision is slowed down, shown in black and white and lingers on the prime minister.
It then includes what appears to be a follow-up question from The Project co-host Sam Taunton and further silence from the prime minister.
However, Taunton’s question actually featured nearly four minutes earlier in the interview. It was also answered by Mr Albanese.
The Advance video is overlaid with the Simon and Garfunkel song The Sound of Silence.
But the original interview reveals Mr Albanese’s silence was concocted in both videos.
In fact, the prime minister doesn’t even wait for MacDonald to finish speaking before answering the question of who has primacy.
“The government,” he responds.
“The government, absolutely. There is no right of veto of this.
“Parliament’s structure remains in place – is not affected by any of this. And that’s been made very clear. All this is, is an advisory group.”
Fair Australia told AAP FactCheck: “This video obviously conveys our accurate contention that the prime minister has been unable to explain the details of the divisive voice in this and every other interview.”
Advance told AAP FactCheck that its video is “obviously satire drawn from a well-known meme”, and reiterated Fair Australia’s response.
Mr Albanese has countered this by arguing the voice referendum is about enshrining the body in the constitution and parliament will decide, and be able to amend, its operation, function, membership and more.
It is misleading to claim Mr Albanese has been lost for words on whether the government or the voice would have primacy.
As far back as a year ago, Mr Albanese insisted the government would be able to reject advice from the voice.
“It’s very clear that the government remains sovereign,” he told reporters in August 2022.
“The voice has an advisory role only.
“Look at the comments that have been made by constitutional lawyers, former members of the High Court who make it very clear that the voice is simply an advisory body.
“It doesn’t change any of the parliamentary processes which are there.”
The claim Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was lost for words when asked whether the voice to parliament would have primacy over the government is misleading.
The interview has been edited to make it appear as if Mr Albanese could not answer the question. The full video reveals his response was immediate and unequivocal.
Misleading – The claim is accurate in parts but information has also been presented incorrectly, out of context or omitted.