Government announces postal survey cost much less than expected

Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann has announced that the financial cost of the postal survey was much less than the anticipated $122 million.

Senator Cormann announced on his Twitter account that the process had been delivered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for $80.5 million.

“Happy to report that the ABS delivered the Australian Marriage Law Survey for a total cost of $80.5 million. Well below the $122m Budget. Congratulations to all involved. Extremely well done. Mission accomplished and Parliament has acted on the verdict of the Australian people.” Senator Cormann posted.

The announcement kicked off a vitriolic back-and-forth between members of the Turnbull government and those in opposition.

Labor Shadow Minister for Finance, Jim Chalmers, hit back at the Minister chastising him for seeking a “pat on the back” for a process that many LGBTIQ+ people saw as being divisive and harmful.

“Hey everyone, Cormann wants a pat on the back for wasting *only* $80m putting gay and lesbian Australians through a divisive and harmful postal survey.” Chalmers responded.

The Liberal Senator returned fire labeling Chalmer’s comment as “pathetic”.

“You really are pathetic. What did you do to help resolve this issue which has polarised Australia for many years. What a weak pathetic comment.” Senator Cormann responded.

Chalmers returned fire labeling Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership as “pathetic”.

“I’ve supported marriage equality for the whole time I’ve been in parliament. You on the other hand had to hide behind an $80m survey which made many gay and lesbian Australians feel like rubbish, all because your boss sold his soul for the leadership – now that’s pathetic.”  Chalmers said.

Senator Cormann continued the school yard style exchange insisting that it was Chalmer’s who was “pathetic”.

“Bully for you. What did that deliver? We trusted the Australian people and facilitated a way forward for the whole country. Bottom line is I can’t believe that on a day like today you would still fight an argument that has long been settled & you lost. As I say you are pathetic.”

Chalmers was not alone in criticising Senator Cormann’s glee.

Senator Derryn Hinch had a suggestion on how the Turnbull government might utilise the remaining $41.5 million dollars.

“Could the $40million not spent be used to counsel LGBTI youngsters who were verbally brutalised and traumatised during the campaign?” Senator Hinch asked.

Labor’s Rob Mitchell expressed the same thoughts as Senator Hinch. comment.

Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds leaped to Senator Cormann’s defence arguing that the postal survey was the only way to end the long standing deadlock over the issue.

“Well said Mathias. The simple fact is without the survey this bill, like all others that preceded it, would not have passed both houses.” Senator Reynolds said.

Labor’s Madeline King weighed in with her thoughts,

“It would have passed both houses with no hurtful ridiculous populist survey if the Liberals were not in government.But you are, & the victims of your survey will remember. But for now, they celebrate marriage equality. ” King said.

Senator Reynolds hit back saying the ALP had failed to deliver marriage equality during their time in government.

“The fact is after 6 years in government the ALP could not deliver SSM despite having numbers with The Greens. A shame we can’t keep politics out of the celebration of great news and now wedding bells! Lets just congratulate each other for a job well done. Well done Australia.” Senator Reyolds said.

OIP Staff

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