New Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced today that he plans to stick to a plan from former PM Tony Abbott and have a public vote on marriage equality after the next election rather than allowing a free vote in parliament. Abbott was ousted as PM during a leadership vote on Monday night.
Whether or not there’ll be a change to the Marriage Act will “be determined by a vote of the people, all the people, via a plebiscite,” said Turnbull in Parliament today, prompted by a question from opposition deputy leader Tanya Plibersek.
“It would take half an hour of parliamentary time to allow this bill to be voted on,” she pointed out. “It could be done tomorrow. Will the PM allow a vote on this bill and allow members of his party a free vote as he’s publicly called for previously?”
Turnbull replied: “If we are re-elected to government, every single Australian will have a say.”
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The Australian Electoral Commission estimates the cost of a public vote to be $158.4 million.
Same Same adds:
In contrast, the Labor Party has promised they’ll introduce a bill for marriage equality within 100 days of winning the next election, and will encourage all MPs to have a free conscience vote on the legislation.
Polls show that approximately 70 percent of Australians favor marriage equality.