Press Gallery Canberra
8 August 2017
Are you happy
with the result form last night’s party meeting?
We had a good and respectful Party Room
meeting. One of the great traditions of
our party is that if a colleague, or colleagues want to put forward a
proposition they can do so. Be heard
respectfully. Other colleagues have the opportunity
to have their say. But it was important
that we reaffirmed the commitment that we took to the election, that the
Australian people would have their say through a plebiscite on the issue of
same sex marriage.
this matter be put to rest by the end of the year. It seems the Prime Minister wants it done by
We will be having a Joint Party Room
meeting discussion today, which will go through the mechanics. But our objective is to give the Senate another
opportunity to consider the matter of a compulsory attendance plebiscite. That should happen this week. We will be arguing that case strongly. If we are unsuccessful we will then look to
having a postal ballot so that the Australian people can have their say. Our election commitments weigh very heavily
upon us and we are determined to do everything we possibly can to give effect
confident that a postal plebiscite will hold up to any legal challenge?
confident that we have a path that is both legal and constitutional. But obviously our first preference would be
to succeed in the Senate and to legislate for a compulsory attendance
is that happening this week or next? Are
you going to put the legislation into the Senate and how much support do you think
media reform legislation has already passed the House. It is in the Senate. We are well underway in the second reading
debate. It is listed for this week. We may not get to it until next week. But I am having good discussions with my
crossbench colleagues, who across a range of legislation have demonstrated that
they are willing to look at good propositions.
Who do you
need to get across?
we don’t have the support of the Australian Labor Party. They don’t seem to care about the strength
and the health of Australian media voices.
So we are talking to Nick Xenophon’s team, we are talking to One Nation
and we are talking to the Australian Greens.
resumes today, how would you rate the mid-winter break for the government?
Look I will
leave ratings to of periods to professional commentators. We are just focused on getting on with
transacting the people’s business, which we are endeavouring to do with the
plebiscite legislation. This could have
been done and dusted as an issue in February this year, if Bill Shorten hadn’t
stood in the way. And it is important to
remember that in 2013 Bill Shorten told the Australian Christian Lobby annual
conference that he thought a plebiscite was a good idea.
Going off the
Prime Ministers previous statement, he said the idea of a postal plebiscite
goes against the Australian democratic values, I mean why is it good for one
and not the other?
Well our clear preference is to give
effect to our election commitment through legislating for an attendance
plebiscite. If the Labor Party don’t
allow us to do that then we need to look to options to give effect to our
election commitments. So if Bill Shorten
doesn’t like the idea of a postal plebiscite then he can support our
legislation in the Senate for an attendance plebiscite.