MEDIA RELEASE: PLEBISCITE IS BACK FROM THE DEAD, WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

PLEBISCITE IS BACK FROM THE DEAD

Not all the zombie budget measures were destroyed in last night’s unfair budget – unbelievably, the Turnbull government has brought the marriage equality plebiscite back from the dead.

Despite explicitly banking more than $100 million in savings for not proceeding with the marriage equality plebiscite in last year’s mid-year economic and fiscal update, $170 million in funding for the marriage equality plebiscite has reappeared in the 2017-18 budget as a contingency measure.

The marriage equality plebiscite was always a terrible idea, which was met with strong opposition from the LGBTI community, the majority of Australians, and Australian Labor. It was comprehensively defeated in the Senate.

The message to the government was clear – just get on with a free vote. Don’t put LGBTI Australians through a painful, unnecessary and expensive plebiscite.

Prime Minister Turnbull needs to explain why the government has made a screeching reversal on its funding allocation for a plebiscite – is he planning on proceeding with Peter Dutton’s ridiculous idea of a postal vote plebiscite? If not, why bring the funding back to the budget?

Last night’s budget for millionaires and multinationals showed how out of touch this government is.

Bringing back funding for the plebiscite also confirms that Prime Minister Turnbull and Senator Brandis have no idea what the Australian people want on marriage equality. They ditched the idea of a plebiscite long ago – the government should too.

WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017