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Thursday, 22 October 2015
Page: 12231


Ms O'NEIL (Hotham) (14:55): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister allow his members a free vote on the plebiscite legislation he will put to the parliament and will the vote occur before the next election?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:55): I thank the honourable member for her question and I appreciate the keen interest she has in this issue. As the honourable member knows, the government's policy is that the question of whether same-sex marriage will be legalised in Australia will be determined by a vote of all Australians by plebiscite, in fact, after the next election. The mechanics for that plebiscite will be the subject of careful consideration by cabinet and then, of course, consideration by the party room. We will deal with this in the traditional manner of a traditional cabinet government. I thank the honourable member for her interest and when the government has more to say on the mechanics, we will do so.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon will cease interjecting.

Mr TURNBULL: The member for McMahon just interjected. I will just respond to him and the honourable member who asked the question. The fact is that if the plebiscite vote is carried, same-sex marriage will be legal in Australia. I understand that honourable members are under some misapprehension. I do not know what paranoid echo chamber they are living in!

Mr Perrett interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton is now warned.

Mr TURNBULL: But let me tell you this: if you imagine that this government or any government would spend over $100 million consulting every Australian on an issue of this kind and then ignore their decision, then you really are not living in the real world. We will give every single Australian a vote. You will not; that is the difference. Under our approach, every Australian will have a vote. I know the member for Sydney said yesterday that it was not democratic to give every Australian a vote. Let me tell you, it is perfectly democratic; it gives everyone their say. What sort of latter-day Leninism approach to democracy is it when the people do not get a say?

Ms O'Neil interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Hotham is warned.

Mr Danby interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: It is good to hear from the member for Melbourne Ports. It is the first time he has interjected today other than referring to Vladimir Putin, about whom he seems to have a complete obsession!

Ms Butler interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Griffith is warned.

Mr TURNBULL: It is quite clear that every Australian will get a vote and that vote will be respected. If the vote is carried, it will become law.

Mr Danby: Soft on Putin!

The SPEAKER: The member for Melbourne Ports is now warned. He will not interject again.