The Greens: Turnbull has “caved in” on funding

Janet Rice

The Greens are urging the Australian Labor Party to formally announce that they will not support the government’s plebiscite legislation after details of the plan emerged after last night’s cabinet meeting.

The government will provide $7.5 million to both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns. Marriage equality activists had been arguing that no funding was necessary.

In the lead up to the cabinet decision conservative back benchers including Eric Abetz, Andrew Hastie and Kevin Andrews had called for public funding to be provided so that groups like the Australian Christian Lobby could get their message out to a wider audience.

The Greens have described the outcome of yesterday’s cabinet meeting as another failure of leadership by the Prime Minister.

“Malcolm Turnbull has caved in to his backbench again,” said the Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice.

“The plebiscite was dreamt up by former Prime Minister Abbott to be a divisive measure and allocating campaign funding just makes it even more divisive.

“This is another $15 million that we know we don’t need to spend, at a time when the government is taking money away from our most vulnerable.

The Greens argue that a plebiscite in unnecessary as there are already clear indications that a large majority of Australians support change.

“We don’t need a plebiscite to tell us what we already know – that the majority of Australians are ready for marriage equality.

 

Senator Rice said the fastest way marriage equality could be achieved in Australia was for Labor to oppose the plebiscite and the government to allow a free vote in parliament.

OIP Staff

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