I think people are sick of politicians who don’t keep their commitments. They expect us to say what we are going to do, and do what we say we will.
I made it very clear before the last election that I personally support traditional marriage and would not support changes to the Marriage Act. However, I supported our Government’s policy, which we took to the last election just a year ago, to let the Australian public have their say on this issue with a plebiscite.
I was elected on that basis. My views remain firm. Moreover, the vast majority of Australian’s want the opportunity to have their say.
I am glad the Party Room has tonight decided that we will endeavour to honour our commitment, by once again introducing legislation into Parliament to allow a plebiscite. This is a sensible approach.
If the Labor Party is serious about advancing and resolving this issue, they will strongly support this legislation. Advocates of this cause ought to be telling Labor to support the sensible solution of consulting the Australian people – they need to give Australians more credit for being mature enough to debate this issue in a civil and thoughtful way.
Bill Shorten said recently that this issue is “above party politics”. In my view, the only thing above politics is the Australian people themselves – I think they should be consulted when we are talking about fundamentally changing an institution that pre-dates the Parliament itself.