WRIGHT MP Scott Buchholz has reiterated his support for a controversial plebiscite on same-sex marriage and said the process was still the quickest path to reform.
Recently, the federal opposition effectively killed any chance of a national vote on same-sex marriage when Labor announced its opposition to legislation that would have seen a plebiscite held in February. The plebiscite, which was expected to cost taxpayers about $200 million, was the Turnbull government’s preferred method of tackling marriage reform.
To date, the government has opposed a free parliamentary vote on the issue, a move widely-seen as a way to appease a powerful faction of conservative Liberal MPs who strongly oppose same-sex marriage.
Mr Buchholz, who opposes same-sex marriage, said the plebiscite was the fairest way to settle the issue.
“There is nothing more fair than asking all Australians to offer their commentary,” he said.
Mr Buchholz said it was important the Turnbull government did all it could to implement the plebiscite, one of the key policies it took to the 2016 federal election.
“With the winning of an election comes the right to implement the policies you took to an election, and it is important we implement what we promised.”
“Can you imagine how chaotic it would be for us if we backed down now? It would be no better than former prime ministers who stood up and said one thing before an election, and did something totally different.”
Asked about recent polls that suggested a majority of Australians now back a free parliamentary vote, Mr Buchholz downplayed the sample size of the polls and said he did not believe the issue was a major priority.
“To be perfectly frank, I am not inundated by traffic in my office about that issue,” he said.
But even though he would vote no at the plebiscite, the Wright MP said he would honour the consensus of the Australian people if they voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
“When you look beyond the numbers, there is a certain degree of inevitability about how the numbers will fall, and unless we get another Brexit, it’s pretty clear what will happen,” he said.
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