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Hello, and welcome back to

our continuing coverage of

the Labor Party conference.

Coming to you live this

afternoon from daring harbour

in Sydney where we have seen

robust debate on a number of

key issues here at the

conference today, from gay

marriage to refugees, to

rural and regional Australia

and live exports, which is

what the conference is debating now at the moment.

We are going to continue with

our coverage throughout the

afternoon. David Speers is

going to be back with you

shortly with PM Agenda. He

will have a full wrap of

everything that's happened today, but for now we are

going to get the other top

stories today. Homes are

still in danger from a bushfire in Western Australia's south-west despite firefighters having worked through the night to

contain it. An emergency

warning remains in place for

Molloy Island and East

Augusta and joining us now

with more from the Western Australia fire and emergency

services authority is Drew.

What is the latest? The

crews have been working on

both the eastern and the

western boundaries all day

and it's been going pretty

much as expected. They are

doing some back-burning, very

carefully on those

boundaries. They are getting

a little bit of fire spotting

over the boundaries but have

been getting on to those

quickly. They have been

aided by water bombers, both

fix winged and helicopter,

and they have got the main

thing is that at 3 o'clock

local time, we are expecting a significant wind shift with

the wind coming off the coast

south, south-east. Fairly

strong. Gusting about 30 km

an hour and that will put

pressure on the western

boundary and we held it well

yesterday and didn't have any

problems yesterday, so we are

hoping for the same sort of

result today of course.

Thanks for the update. The

ALP National Conference has

endorsed the plan to support

offshore processing just as

two more asylum seeker boats

were intercepted off the

Western Australian coast.

The first vessel was

discovered north-east of Ashmore Island carrying 19

passengers and three crew.

The second boat was also

detected with 78 people on

board. This is an indication

that we need a stronger

deterrent to prevent them

being lure odd very

unseaworthy vessels. They go

to onshore relief and as we

see now, literally hundreds

arriving at the most upon hundreds of people

dangerous time of the year.

So it is for the Government

to actually develop policy.

They have no policy now other

than onshore relief. The

asylum seekers are being

taken to Christmas Island for

security and identity checks. Hundreds of union members

have spent the morning handing out leaflets in

suburbs across the country explaining their ongoing

dispute with the airline.

Transport Workers Union boss

Tony Sheldon says Qantas is

continuing to treat its

workers with contempt.

Billion aires around the

country supporting what Alan

joys and lee Clifford did

only four weeks ago is

un-Australian, it is

inappropriate, it is the way

that the country should not

be going and let's make sure

we take this country back off

the billion heirs that is disadvantaging 70,000

passengers, stranding people

right around the world, axing

thousands of jobs in this

country so they can offshore

to Asia and outsourcing jobs

in this country to hundreds

of dollars a week less.

Let's say to those people

that we are going to fight

back because we are Qantas

families and you take on an

Australian, you take on an Australian icon, those

executives have declared an

the Australian public. Well, executive plus war against

war you will get from us.

Last night the Labor national

conference backed a motion

attacking Qantas's decision

to move jobs off shore.

Iranian diplomats expelled

from their embassy in London

have been mobbed by large

crowds after flying into

Tehran as the diplomats had

touched down in the capital

after being kicked out by of

the UK following an attack in

Iran. A group of students

were there to meet them chanting British sides should be expelled and death to

England. They also held up

signs reading "Darn with the

USA, Britain and Israel".

They have called on the union

to impose strong Anshuns on

Iran as concerns grow over

its nuclear program. To sport and Australia have passed New Zealand's first innings total on day three of

the first Test at the Gabba

in Brisbane. Michael Clarke

producing a captain's knock

with a well made century.

Ricky Ponting started the day

in search of that elusive

century. He made it to 78.

He has given him. Hunter

asked for a second opinion but the cards didn't fall his

way and he had to go. Clarke

kept his foot on the gas and

moved past 50 in style. Some substandard fielding from the black caps didn't help their

cause and Clarke was the

beneficiary. That may well

have been an inside edge.

Hot spot confirmed it was but

the next ball of the first

over, Hussey wasn't as lucky.

Clarke made the most of his

lifeline and long hops from

Daniel Vettori to bring up

his century. The Aussie

skipper was given another

life, dropped by Jesse Ryder

in the slips and along with

Brad Haddin settled in,

passing the black caps first

innings total. It was

painful to watch for the

Kiwis. Reece Young using his

mouth instead of his gloves

to stop the ball. And a

quick look at tomorrow's

weather, cool showers in the

south-east, and thunderstorms

in the north and the west.

Now back to David Speers at

the ALP conference as PM

Agenda continues. Thank you

very much. It has been a big

day here at the Labor Party

conference. Plenty of rebust

debate, particularly on the

issue of gay marriage. We

will bring you the highlights

of those speeches. A big

rally outside the conference here, thousands of people

streaming from the CBD down

here to daring harbour to

make their support for gay

marriage clear. We will

bring you highlights of that

as well as interviews with the key figures on both sides of this debate right after

the break. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the Labor

conference at Darling Harbour

in Sydney. The big show

today was on the issue of gay

marriage. As expected, there

has been a change in the

party platform. Labor now

officially supports the idea of same-sex marriage despite

Julia Gillard promising

before the election that

there would be no change in

the Marriage Act under this

Government. However, the

Prime Minister did save some

face with agreement here in a

narrow victory for her that

there be a conscience vote

for Labor MPs, so they won't

be bound to support gay

marriage when a bill does

come before Parliament in the

new year. Labor back bencher

Stephen Jones from the left

has already made it clear he

will be moving fast on this and when Parliament resumes

in the new year putting forward a private members

Bill, so will the Greens. So

there will be legislation

debated in the Parliament.

In a moment I will bring you

highlights of the speeches.

What do you make of this

decision that Labor's taken

and what does it mean for Julia Gillard? It means you

can look at it two ways. You

can see it as a loss for Gillard or a win for her.

What it means is that you are

not going to change the laws

to allow gay marriage by

having a conscience vote, it

is not going to get through

the parliament. Is that for

sure though? No way. Too

tight because I don't think

you have got enough - I don't

think Abbott will give a

conscience vote and if he

does, I don't think he will

get enough members to make up

for those to vote no. I

think he will get roughly 20%

and Labor will vote no. He

will get all the Greens,

independents. So Gillard by

calling for a conscience vote has effectively progressed

the issue in a policy sense.

It has given hope to the gay marriage advocates and

probably means it will happen

in the next five years but

not in this Parliament. She

had to cop a bit of a loss on

the platform, changing the policy platform and I think

that is the most illustrative

change here because she said

she didn't want to change the

Marriage Act which means

allowing gay marriage. The

platform says we should

change the Marriage Act. So

indirectly it counts as her

position -- counters her

position but she couldn't

stop it. It does mean that

you have got a Labor MP and

several others backing a bill

and she would have broken her

promise? Essentially. Has

she been out of stipby the

party? Judging from the mood

of the room definitely. If

Gillard has not said in

advance let's have a

conscience vote this, would

have gone through and they

would have legalised it. You

would have had a few others

rejecting it. That would

have caused a massive split

in Labor. In one sense

Gillard couldn't have pushed

for outright legal iceation

without risking a massive

split in the Government and

probably God knows what

consequences for her. So she

was hamstrung. But definitely they were

resisting a momentum in that

room today. If he this just

let everyone have their head, it would have gone straight through. We have already

heard from Scott Morrison

that Labor is obsessed on gay

marriage. It is not a

priority. Cost of living

should be. Do you think this

is a bad look for Labor? It

is a standard response. You

would expect the Coalition to

say that. Obviously this whole conference isn't about

gay marriage but that has

been the most contentious

issue. It has got to be put

to bed. It will just keep

coming back and back until it

is dealt with one way or

another and it was the only

issue at the last conference.

It's something Labor's needed

to deal with. It will be something the Coalition will

have to deal with in a lesser

sense when it comes before the Parliament. But the

reason Gillard made the conference in December this

year, it should have been in

July next year, was one of

the very reasons she wanted

to get all of this stuff out

of the way early. She saw

this early? Yeah. Have the

fight, and then get back on

to the main business next

year. You can imagine if

this conference was July next year, I think Labor could ill-afford to have all of

this stuff going on then. But at the same time there

are people out there who this

does mean something too and

you don't govern for the majority all the time,

sometimes you have got to look at the minority as

well. Look at the platform

changes expected to support offshore processing. This

afternoon they are still to

get to, they are running

behind, the party reform and

this is another area where

there are all sorts of ideas being thrashed out. Are we going to see much in the way

of reform to how the party

works? No. The right is can

resisting anything that will

diminish its influence.

There was some proposal

kicking around this morning

to send one from each

electorate but I understand

that has hit the fence and

now everyone is blaming each

other for that. So I think

no, this rather 20 point plan

that the right has been floating around for the last

couple of weeks will be it.

Please don't take us through

the 20 points. No, I won't.

They will be tinkering on the

edges but there will be

nothing meaningful that will

empower the rank and file.

Thanks very much for that.

We will return to the gay

marriage debate this morning.

There were some passionate

speeches on both sides,

particularly those in favour

of changing the party

platform. We will bring you

the highlights beginning with

Julia Gillard who of course

argued for a conscience vote

for Labor MPs. We recognise

this is a deeply personal

debate because for many who

have been driven by religious

and philosophical views

across the span of their

lifetime. That is the best

way forward for our parliamentarian, State,

territory and federal. And

most importantly, it is the

best way forward for the

Australian community. I

strongly urge you delegates

to support the amendment move

by the Prime Minister.

Support for this motion today

represents another critical

step towards the removal of

discrimination. Delegates,

let me tell you, it is

intensely felt by Australians

who have been living in

long-term, loving, same sex

relationships and for those who... Surely Australia has

reached a point where we can value relationships by respect, commitment and love.

Surely this party can be as

consistent in our principles

as we are called to be. As

so many of our members are.

We are the Labor Party. We

stand for equality. We told

the people of Australia at

the last election that we believe that marriage was

between a man and a woman.

That's been our position

right up to today. Are we

now going to suddenly turn

our back on something which

up until today we have said

is a core value? Will it

continue to be our platform

to deny the rights of

literally hundreds and

hundreds of thousands of

Australians because of the

gender of their partner? And

sadly, a change of platform

to sanction gay marriage will

not remove the terror and the

horror of home phobia. We

have done it on race. We

have done it on gender. We

have done it on class through

the trade union movement. We

also need to do it on the

basis of sexuality and that

is what the bar amendment

before you is here today.

The support in the room is

clearly behind the left

faction and those in favour

of gay marriage and as we

saw, the Prime Minister's

push for a conscience vote

did succeed, just, by about eight votes in the end and

then the decision on changing

the party platform to support

gay marriage was passed on

the voices overwhelmingly.

Didn't have to go to a show

of hands. An awkward moment

for some MPs who are still keeping their cards close to

their chest. While that

debate was underway on the

conference floor, a mass protest of several thousands

people were making their way

from the CBD here to Darling

Harbour to the conference

venue. In fact, originally

there were two protests that

did take place in the city.

Those opposed to and those in favour of gay marriage and there was a bit of a

confrontation there. But the

supporters of gay marriage

made their way down here,

serl thousands of them, they

heard from a number of

speakers, including a few of

the delegates and MPs here. Doug Cameron of the left

faction revved up the crowd.

Let's hear a little of what

he had to say. Well thank

you so much and what an

honour it is to be here with

all of these real

Australians. Australians who

have compassion to each

other, Australians who love

each other. Australians who

deserve equality. Don't

waste your time ringing my

office. Spend all your time

ringing those MPs that need

to be convinced that equality

is a right, it's a human

right that you should have

because my vote is in the

bag. I'll be voting for my

equality. Just after the

last national conference, I

received a call from a mother

in the western suburbs of

Sydney. She rang me and she

said "My son is gay and I

want my son to have the same

rights as everyone else".

She then outlined to me the

discrimination that her gay

son has suffered over his

whole life and it actually

appalled me because I didn't

understand how deep some of

the horrible things that went

on were in our society. And

that's why I say to you thank

you for your courage. Thank

you for your commitment. You

will not go away until we win

this and we are with you

until marriage equality is

here. Thank you. I just

want to say one last thing.

And that is there are many

injustices in our society and

we need to continue to fight

against injustice. But this

is an injustice that should

be dealt with now. That we should deal with immediately.

And as soon as we go back to

Parliament, that legislation

will be introduced by Stephen

Jones, supported by people

like Anthony Albanese and we

will get this up. We will

win this argument. We will

give you the rights because

you are real Australians who

deserve everything that every

other Australian gets. An

end to discrimination. An

end to what you have suffered

for all of your life here.

Thank you. Doug Cameron

there and a fairly excited crowd welcoming his contribution and the change

in the Labor platform. They

didn't much like, though, the

vote that went along with

that to give MPs a conscience

vote to what they would have

preferred Labor MPs to be

bound by the platform

decision in support of gay

marriage. In a moment, we

will hear from Stephen Jones

who you heard Doug Cameron

there mention will be the one

introducing the Bill in the

new year. But first Andrew

bar, he is the Deputy Chief

Minister in the ACT. He was

a member of the right faction

but was the one that moved

this motion today to change

the party platform. I spoke

to him a little earlier in

the day. We are joined now

by the man who moved the

motion to change the Labor

Party platform successfully

to support gay marriage,

Andrew Barr is the Deputy

Chief Minister of the ACT.

He is from the right faction

but came across and supported wholeheartedly the left on

this issue. Is the victory somewhat reduced by the conscience vote also being

approved? No, look, I think

that was always going to be

part of the final outcome.

Respect the Prime Minister's

position in relation to that.

I think the important thing

is what's in Labor's platform

and what that says to the

Australian people are our

values. How much does it matter what's in the platform

if MPs are then told you

don't have to stick with it?

I think we look at the basis

in which people will campaign

on this issue, how future

preselections will go, you

know, there are a variety of

different views in the party

clearly, but what our

platform says is the core

belief of the party and given how difficult it has been to

get movement on this issue

over successive Labor Party

conferences, today is a historic day for the Labor

Party and for all of those

members who have campaigned

so hard for this for so

long. Just to pick up what

you said there. The fact

that the Labor Party in its platform now has support for

gay marriage, does that mean

candidates are going to have

to bear that in mind when

they are seeking

preselection? I'm sure

preselectors will ask the question now where individual candidates stand on this

issue and it will be a factor

that they consider when they

cast their votes in pre-selection. There was

also a motion approved by the

conference that said people

could vote on their

conscience. Absolutely. So

why would they be dictated

one way or the other at

pre-selection? What I'm

saying is that Labor Party

pre-selectors in each federal

electorates will ask the

candidates who are seeking

public office what their

position is on marriage and

that will be part, I think,

of what will determine how

they will vote in

pre-selection, so which

candidate will win

pre-selection in each

particular seat. So

supporters of gay marriage,

you think as a result of

today, are more likely to be pre-selected? I think that's what the are party platform

says. For those that are

still making up their mind,

they will look to the

platform as the guiding

light. This is an issue that

will take time, clearly, to

find its way through the House of Representatives and

the Senate. It is not

something that out of today

we will have a legislative

change next week. I have

been asked by a number of

people already oats okay,

when can we get married? ".

Will it happen next year,

that the Bill will be put up

in Parliament next year, what

is your best guess that will

happen to that given that

there is a conscience vote

for Labor MPs? Yes, there

will be a move made by Labor

and clearly to get 76 House

of Representatives votes and

39 snairts, the Labor Party

is going to make up the bulk

of that vote. We will need

Greens and independents but

the question is now is for

the Liberal and national

parties, now that Labor has a

conscience vote, what is

their position. Even it Tony

Abbott did give a conscience

vote, do you think it would

get through? It is going to

be a very close run thing. I

know, and I know people

around the Liberal Party

across the country, that

there are certainly Liberal

members and snairts who

support marriage equality and

-- senators who support

marriage equality and now is

the time for them to speak up within their party. What

about the other members of the electorate obviously,

your own colleagues in the

Labor Party today who disagree with your position.

What do you say to them about this development today of

change in the platform? We

undertook a passionate and

respectful debate. We got to

hear from both sides and we

heard some heart felt views.

Part of this is generational

and I think you see in so

many members of the right

supporting this resolution

that over time there will be

more and more members of the Federal Parliament who

support marriage equality and

fewer who hold the more conservative view. There

will always be, and there

always should be, room for social conservative in the

Labor Party. I don't think

anyone is denying that. What

happened today clearly allowed social conservatives

to hold that view but the

majority view was the Labor

Party, as expressed

overwhelmingly, in support of

the platform amendment today

and it is for the Labor Party

to make a positive statement

about what we believe in. And it is something that has been building for some time.

That Australians have been

calling on the party to

respond. For every gay and lesbian Australian for the brothers and sisters, the

parents of gay and lesbian

Australians, this platform

changes it for you. What do

you think of Joe Debruan's contribution who said that

marriage in legislation is

the union of one man and one

woman entered into for life. Same sex relationship is not marriage and we shouldn't

give it that status. You

can't produce children, it is biologically impossible?

That is a slap in the face

for any heterosexual couple

who might be infertile or may

not be able to have children

for a variety of reasons.

Does that mean that anyone

who marries after they might

be of child bearing age,

what, that their relationship isn't significant and isn't

real? Look, Joe has got his

views. Everyone knows that.

There were no surprises in

his speech. The overwhelming

majority of the Labor Party

don't agree with him. The

Prime Minister has been

fantastic in allowing a

debate. She said in her

speech on Friday morning she

wanted a fair dinkum Labor

conference with passion, with

votes. We certainly saw that

this morning. I think it is really important to acknowledge that the strength of the Prime Minister's

leadership is such that she

will facilitate such an

opportunity between the

party. But you haven't convinced her. Is there something a little odd about

the fact that Labor has made this decision today to change

the platform. You haven't convinced the Prime

Minister? That's a long

campaign David. It's not

something that will happen

overnight. Is she out of

step with the party? No, I

think that the Prime Minister

is perfectly entitled to her

views on the issue. What I'm

thrilled about is the

capacity that she has given

the party to express what has

been a long held view

on... The party has essentially defied her

position on this issue. No, the party has been clear in

two things. One, that our platform now supports marriage equality but we

recognise the diversity of

views among the party. She

said flat out she doesn't

support gay marriage. And

now the party has shifted

under her. Well, the Prime Minister can speak for

herself in regards to her personal position and that's

why we now have a conscience

vote. She is free to do

that. But she is at odds

with the party. With large

numbers of people on the

party on this issue, yes.

And the party platform. But,

of course, it is not the only

time that leaders and

platform have not necessarily

been 100% in lock step and

that's important in a robust political party and I think

the thing and the point I

would want to stress is the

Prime Minister's leadership

on this issue in allowing the

debate and sticking to her

words about having a fair dinkum debate at conference,

well, we have just seen that,

haven't we. Who is going to

introduce the private Bill?

Has that been decided yet? I

think there will be an announcement fairly shortly

and I imagine a very long

queue of Labor members

wanting to do that. I'm sure

someone will come forward,

possibly in the next few

minutes even. Okay. No

hints? Not for me to say.

I'm not a member of the

Federal Parliamentary carcus.

That will can one of --

koukus. That will be one of

my federal colleagues that

make that announcement.

Thank you. Lovely to be

here. Short time after we

did that interview, of course

Stephen Jones the Labor MP confirmed to us here on Sky

News that he will be the one introducing that private

members bill in the new year

to change the Marriage Act.

The Greens will as well,

whether they work together

and cosponsor a bill or

probably most likely,

unlikely we will see

competing Bills trying to

achieve the same outcome but

it will mean this issue is

kept alive. We will hear the

argument against gay marriage after the break. The

Australian Christian lobby

now gearing up for a campaign

and lobbying against gay

marriage in the new year. We

will hear from them after the

break. Stay with us.

Welcome back to Darling

Harbour and Sydney live from the Labor Party national

conference. As we have been

discussing, the big news

today the change in the party platform in support of gay

marriage and a Bill will be introduced to Parliament in

the new year to change the

Marriage Act to that effect.

Still, Julia Gillard was

successful in having conference support, a

conscience vote for Labor MPs

which means they won't be

bound to vote for gay

marriage. Those that oppose

it will be allowed to oppose

it and that's likely to mean

that any Bill is defeated in

Parliament stopping gay

marriage happening now at

least. In a moment we will

hear the argument against gay

marriage from the Australian

Christian lobby. First, we

will check in on the latest

news headlines. The ALP National Conference in Sydney

has endorsed the Prime

Minister's plan for a caucus

to hold a conscience vote on

gay marriage. Thousands of people have rallied outside

the conference supporting the

proposal and demanding Labor

make gay marriage legal. And

the ALP National Conference

has also endorsed a plan to

support offshore processing as two more asylum seeker

boats are interept issed.

The first vessel was discovered north-east of

Ashmore Island carrying 19

passengers. The second was

detected 78 people on board.

The asylum seekers are being

taken to Christmas Island for

security and identity checks.

I ran yin diplomats expelled

from their embassy in London

have been mobbed by large

crowds after flying into

Tehran. They have touched

down in the capital after

being kicked out of the UK

following an attack on the

embassy in Iran. A group of

students were there to meet

them chanting British spies

should be expel and death to

England. The UK has called

on the European Union to

impose stronger economic

sanctions on Iran as concerns

grow over its nuclear

program. A bushfire is

causing havoc for firefighters in south-west Western Australia in the

shires of Nannup and Margaret

river. The fire is currently

contained but may soon threat

enhomes in Molloy Island and

East Augusta. Residents in

the danger areas are urged to

evacuate immediately while

locals south of Nannup are

urged to be on alert. Qantas

has come under attack again from the unions accusing it

of treating its workers with

contempt. Hundreds of union

members have handed out

leaflets in cities across the

country explaining their

ongoing dispute with the

airline. Last night the Labor National Conference

backed a motion moved by the

TWU attacking Qantas's

decision to move jobs

offshore. Updating sport and

Australia has passed New

Zealand's first innings total

on day three of the first

Test at the Gabba in Brisbane. Michael Clarke led

the way with a century while

former captain Ricky Ponting

was dismissed for 78. Tomorrow's weather cool

showers in the south-east and

thunderstorms for the north and the west. Thank you for

that. As we have been

discussing here at the Labor conference, the party has

decided today to change its

platform in support of gay

marriage. We have heard

plenty of those arguing the

case for this change and, in particular, the thousands of

people who assembled outside

here in a protest to push the

case for gay marriage. A

movement that will no doubt gather strength now in the

lead-up to a parliamentary

vote next year with a Bill to

be introduced in the new

year. Private members bill

by Stephen Jones. The Greens

also keen to introduce a

private members bill on gay marriage now and test

support. Unlikely to get

through but there will be now

pressure on Tony Abbott on

give a conscience vote on

Liberal MPs as well. There

will be plenty arguing

against gay marriage and

non-more so than the

Australian Christian lobby.

They are gearing up now to

calpain on this. A change in

the party platform in favour

of gay marriage but a

conscience vote for MPs.

Look, it's a partial win for

Julia Gillard and her

position that there be a

conscience vote. It's a

compromise but it's very

disappointing because there

was a very clear election

promise from both the Prime

Minister and the Labor Party

itself that there would be no

change to the Marriage Act if

they were reelected, were the words the Prime Minister used

two weeks before the

election. Do you think this

ace broken promise? I think

it is potentially one. It will depend on what happens

now when it comes to the Parliament. We would expect

if Labor is to redeem some

integrity on this issue, that

they would vote as a block

with the cotition during the

term of this Parliament so

that the Marriage Act could

not be changed and then take

it as an election platform to

the next election. That

would be the thing of

integrity to do. They have

debated it very openly at the conference. We have heard

the arguments for and against

and clearly there were

overwhelming support for the

change in the platform.

Sure, but an election promise

is an election promise and promises gin two weeks before

an election, bit like the carbon tax prompts, should

hold at least for the term of

the Parliament. We

understand that parties change their platform and

this is the approach to do

that. But that is the platform you take to the next

election, not to change the

promises you made before the

last. We heard some warning

from members of the right

today that that could be

politically damaging for

Labor. Do you think this is

a vote changer for some of

these constituents?

Absolutely. We have seen it

has been a swinging

constituency. We saw them

play a part. I wouldn't say

a decisive part but they were

a factor in Kevin Rudd and he

made himself very attractive

to the constituency. There

is much in the Labor platform

that does appeal to many

Christian people and

certainly their stance on

filtering and many other

issues, but this could very

much be a game breaker for

many people who hold marriage

very deeply, not just in the

Christian constituency but in

the wider Australian

constituency as well. There

will be a private Bill no

doubt in the new year in

Parliament and we are

expecting some Labor MPs to

make an announcement very

shortly on their intention to

do that now. How will the

Australian Christian lobby

campaign on this? Will you

be directly targeting MPs?

We will be highlighting to

our constituency and to the wider community those that

keep their word and honour

their election promises. We

live in a day that there is

so many cynicism in politics,

to clear yet another promise

potentially being trashed, we

will be wanting to highlight

that and we will be

communicating that. But will

you also go to the substance

of the debate? What is the

argument against gay

marriage? It's a real

important argument because

here we have a major

political party, departing

from the wisdom of the ages,

all that we have accumulated

over western civilisation, that our children do best

when a family is formed with their biological mother and

father. Now, you know, we

can respect the rights of same sex couples and that's

all been done in terms of removing discrimination, but

when this comes to marriage

and family formation, we have got to put the rights of children before we put the

rights of adults. At the

moment same sex couples can

have kids. That is a

separate issue whether they

can marry. The two are very

much related because marriage

is about family formation and

if you say that marriage can

be between any gender, then you really trash the idea

that gender matters in the

raising of a child. I think

that is really important to

children. We have seen a

Senate inquiry that has

looked into donor conceive.

The only way they can get

children is through assisted reproductive... We just heard

from Andrew Barr before you

came on that people therefore

who are infertile shouldn't

be able to marry or too old

to have kids shouldn't be

able to marry or that single

parents shouldn't be allowed

to have kids because they are

missing all of this genter

balance that you say is necessary. No-one goes into

a relationship hoping that

they will be a single parent.

Those sort of things usually

happen through tragedy,

infertility happens of

course. But that doesn't

mean that we have ideals that

we aspire to in society,

things that we know are the

optimum benefit to children.

Older Australians then who marry, knowing that they are

not going to have kids and

don't want to have kids, how

does that stack up? Well,

look, it's the same for

people who are infertile.

There is nothing wrong with

older people getting married

but the idea of an male,

female bonding, ties a child

to its biological mother and

father. You have to severe

that through same sex family constructions and that is

just the reality and that is

why I think we should enforce

this idea and reinforce the

idea that we should do all we

can, wherever possible, to

ensure that a child is raised

by a mother and father. That

idea has been trashed by one

of our great political parties today. It's a departure from the

mainstream. The polls show

it is a pretty popular move.

I don't know about that. The

sex and marketing group poll

commissioned by the... It

when you look at the polls,

essential polls, galaxy

polls, these mainstream

polls, not the Ambrose

research centre. They were

commissioned by Ambrose. But

that same poll found that 73% of Australians agreed with

the notion that a child

should have its biological mother and father wherever possible. So there

is... Exactly. That is the

point. To have the biological mother and father where possible. That's

right. It is impossible in a

same-sex marriage... On a

question whether gay marriage

should be allowed, polls show

overwhelming support. Well,

as I say, the poll found that

only 49% D they found it was

a very low priority and it

also found that if there was

division in the community,

which there clearly is, we

raised from a supporter base

of 14,000 people, we raised a

petition of over 100,000.

Now, four out of five get up

members couldn't be bothered

to sign their peics it. I

think the popularity of this

has been overstated. There's

been a lot of spin. A lot of

hype. There has been a lot of catch cries of marriage

equality, what does that

mean, three or four people

should have equal marriage as

well. This debate hasn't

properly been thought out and

discussed. It's not a debate

about polygamy? Why would

you just stop at gender. We

had one speaker earlier today

say that they were bringing

Christian values to debate

but Christians stand for

equality, they don't want to

discriminate, isn't this

about discrimination, 23409

children, aren't they really

fringed elements... Those

issues go right to the core of the redefinition of

marriage. Christians have

always stood up for the

voiceless and it was them who

were instrumental in the founding of the Labor Party

because they were standing up

for the people who were being repressed by the industrialisation. Here we have the child who is going

to be severed from its

biological mother or father,

didn't even get a mention,

didn't even get a say on the

floor today. It is all about

the adults desires. I don't

think we have had a mature

debate in this country on

this issue. I think it is

far from over. Talking to us little earlier. After the

break, our panel looking at

how the day has gone here at

the Labor conference. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the Labor

National Conference here at

Darling Harbour in Sydney.

I'm joined now for a look at

the day and how the

conference is going by

political commentator. Now,

gay marriage rightly or

wrongly has been become the

dominant issue today.

Marriage equality. Any

surprises in the outcome?

No. I don't think so. Well,

over the last 24 hours it

became clear that this is the

way it was going to pan out.

Clearly there was some behind the scenes argument about

whether or not there would be

a vote on the conscience

issue or not. But there have

been too many people that

have worked relentlessly for

the last couple of years to

have the platform changed.

So I think that was an

outcome that was expected, although these things you

never know. There was a

pretty strong mood in the

actual hall itself this

morning? Favour of this

change in the platform.

Yeah, look, it's an overdue

change. It's an important change which will affect a

lot of people and a lot of

families. But you'd imagine that the party and the

Government would have to

worry if the rest of the real

world out there, all they got

from this conference was the

fact that gay marriage could

become law and we might be

able to sell uranium to

India. They would be saying

to each other "Well, what on

earth is this Government on

about?". Which is really all

they will take from this.

Which is an important move,

setting up the National

Disability Insurance Scheme,

which in the other conference

I think and any other news

week would have taken over

the headlines itself. Julia Gillard did Prime Minister

before the election that

there would be no change in

the Marriage Act and she has

consistently said she does

not personally support gay

marriage. So where does this

change in the party platform

leave her personally? I

don't know that she

necessarily promised that on

behalf of the Government. She didn't say "Under my Government, there will be no

change". She said that the

Marriage Act wouldn't

change. Then she clearly was

out of step with the mood

within the Labor Party.

Rainbow Labor has been

working long and hard and

cross factionally to get this

through and there is a significant number of people in electorates across

Australia, regardless of what

the Australian Christian

lobby says, who have wanted

this also and the mood has

been changing across

Australia and all opinion

polls are showing that. Has

the PM failed to keep up with

it? It is a bit puzzling

really because she truly

looked delighted once it got

through. She did, didn't

she. She embraced each of

the key figures who have been

arguing the case. Effectively hasn't she been

arguing, well look, the

Marriage Act says this and

there is no intention at the

moment to change that and she

hasn't yet. I mean, this is

now going to be a free vote.

The pressure is going to be

on the opposition to match

that. But I mean, you do get the impression, particularly

as you were saying from her

reaction today, that Julia

Gillard does support marriage

equality. If that's the

term. She is the record so

many times, even if people

don't believe her, that that

is what she has argued. She

has never put out a cogent argument. Nor did she this

morning. The speech that she

did give on this issue was

well, you all know my

position on this and then

went on to argue why a

conscience vote is a good

idea to respect all votes of

the arguments. But on gay

marriage, she didn't weigh

into that. Do you think she

will have to? She will have

to. Each speaker that was

speaking for - well, actually

for the conscience vote and

also for the motion, was

being very mindful and

talking about the need for

respect, the need to treat

this with... Human rights

issue. And all that sort of

thing but also because

passions can become inflamed

and they don't want this to

be seen as emblematic of what

Labor is all about for the

next two years until the next

election. They want this to

actually take probably the Coalition with more members of the Coalition rather than

support it and they are

putting pressure on Tony

Abbott now to allow a free

vote in his ranks which of

course is... But this issue

is nearly as decisive in the

Coalition as it is for the

Labor. There is support

there for gay marriage but it

is not even half. No, look,

Tony Abbott would be very,

very keen to maintain support

for the current Marriage Act

as opposition policy and just

stand firm and see what

happens. He would risk some

people crossing the floor but

in the Liberal Party that is

not something that you get

executed or expelled for. He

could probably ware that and

it might only be three or four, I think we have all

tried to count it up.

Whereas Julia Gillard could

see 10 members of her back

bench cross to vote,

presumably against her, but certainly against the

legislation. So maybe he is

prepared to take that risk.

He is not coming forward with

his ideas at the moment. And

she would be one of them.

She would be voting against,

you would expect, any private

members bill. I wouldn't put

money on that. You think she

could switch on this? Who

knows. This is a fascinating

thing to think about because

I can't imagine that if the

majority of her party was

going to vote for a private members Bill, that supported... She would be stuck sitting with John Murphy... And Tony Abbott,

that is a good look. It is not exactly her bunch of

guys, is it. No, that's

right. She has never been associated with before,

suddenly she is sitting in

the middle of them holding

hands. Only with the men.

Only with the men. One thing

that interests me... He is a

joke, isn't he really. 3,000

people turn up here to

protest, I mean, that was

extraordinary. How would the

Labor Party feel. We have

gone all this way to help the rainbow Coalition and they

come up here and bag it late. They rolled up a bit

late in the day. Had they

got the time wrong. What,

the vote had happened an hour

or two before they turned up

here at Darling Harbour. Yeah, at least two hours.

They somehow managed that the vote would happen this

afternoon. So there was a

mass of people out here

behind us and their timing

was a little off. These

people also keep the pressure

on both sides, but

particularly on Labor, in the

lead-up to a conscience vote

now? Are we going to see

more of this sort of stuff?

They seem pretty emboldened

by what happened today. They

will certainly keep the

pressure on, there is no

doubt about that, and because even those who didn't support

it today, the motion today,

acknowledge that it was a big

- very big deal and it is. I

mean, I was inclined

yesterday to the view that it

was more symbolic than

anything else but it will

just incrementally keep the

pressure up and, you know,

you are going to see this as

quite a significant issue, I

think, through the election.

I think today, though, the

important messages are all

internal for the Labor Party.

It is about Julia Gillard's

leadership. The way, as you

sort of pointed to, she

stepped back from her own

position to allow this debate

to happen, to allow a

compromise on it which

allowed a conscience vote

etc. And this is hopefully -

the party hopes that it will

send messages that she really

does have the leadership

qualities required to lead

the Government. Interesting

debate to continue then no

doubt. Thank you both for

joining us. We will get back

to the conference floor

shortly where the rules

debate, party reform is up

for a discussion. Quick

break. Stay with us.

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