Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

The government will still put legislation for a February 11 same-sex marriage plebiscite to the Senate, despite Labor’s confirmation it will oppose the bill.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told a news conference: “The bill is before the parliament and the parliament has to do its work.”

Despite intense questioning, Turnbull refused to engage with what attitude he would take after the defeat of the bill – specifically, whether he would allow Liberals a free vote on the issue.

But feeling is such among conservatives in the Coalition that it would be near impossible for Turnbull to let a private member’s bill from the opposition or Greens to be allowed to come to a vote.

Victorian Nationals MP Andrew Broad threatened to defect to the crossbench if the Coalition abandoned its commitment to the plebiscite and moved to a free vote. “My support for the government is conditional that we honour our election commitments.”

Labor’s caucus unanimously endorsed opposing the legislation for the plebiscite. The legislation is still to be voted on in the House of Representatives, where it will pass. But there are not enough non-Green crossbenchers willing to support it in the Senate to overcome the opposition of Labor and the Greens.

image Tanya Plibersek lifts up a baby during a meeting with members of the LGBTI community at Parliament House on Tuesday. Lukas Coch/AAP

But Turnbull said: “It is all very well to say the Senate will not vote for it. We respect the Senate. The bill is not even in the Senate yet. The Senate has to deal with the bill.”

Shorten appeared at a news conference in Labor’s caucus room where the front row was filled with young children of LGBTI parents.

He said that in recent weeks he had consulted members of the LGBTI community and mental health experts, including former Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry.

“The experts have unequivocally explained to Labor that the plebiscite would cause harm to gay and lesbian people, particularly but not exclusively young people,” Shorten said.

“Having met these families, having listened to their stories I could not in good conscience recommend to the Labor Party that we support the plebiscite about marriage equality. I could not in good conscience do this because the evidence became overwhelming of the harm it would cause.”

He flagged Labor would continue to push for a parliamentary vote, and said Turnbull should listen to the stories of the families.

He dismissed the argument that Turnbull could not change his mind because of the situation in his ranks. “Just because you have a few National Party MPs threatening to bring down the government – that’s Mr Turnbull’s problem,” he said.

“Mr Turnbull made that bed a long time ago. He has to lie in it now. He signed up to Tony Abbott’s agenda, he signed up to Tony Abbott’s plebiscite. He has to live with his conscience. He has to live with the consequences of proposing to Australia a sub-optimal outcome.”

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/turnbull-dodges-on-what-happens-after-marriage-plebiscite-bill-is-defeated-66832

Writers Wanted

Live Sports Betting: The Best Way To Bet With Online Casinos


Can governments mandate a COVID vaccination? Balancing public health with human rights – and what the law says


New finding: boosting JobSeeker wouldn't keep Australians away from paid work


The Conversation


Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism

Buy Instagram Followers And Likes Now

Do you like to buy followers on Instagram? Just give a simple Google search on the internet, and there will be an abounding of seeking outcomes full of businesses offering such services. But, th...

News Co - avatar News Co

Cybersecurity data means nothing to business leaders without context

Top business leaders are starting to realise the widespread impact a cyberattack can have on a business. Unfortunately, according to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Tenable, some...

Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable - avatar Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion