Marriage plebiscite might cost over $158 million

Entsch Warren 100322 - 029 - Informal

The Australian Electoral Commission has estimated the cost of holding a plebiscite to gauge support for changing the nation’s marriage laws could cost $158.4 million if held as a stand alone poll.

A separate poll is the approach favoured by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and it would cost $20 million more than the entire 2013 election.

The overall cost could be much higher, the Australian Christian Lobby has argued that additional funding should be provided to both sides of the campaign to put forward argument for and against allowing people of the same gender to wed.

A referendum held in conjunction with a federal election would cost less, adding $44 million on the costs according to the Australian Electoral Commission.


Liberal MP Warren Entsch who brought forward marriage equality legislation in the parliament has said that cost should be taken out of the equation.

“There seems to be an overwhelming view that people want to have their say,” Mr Entsch said yesterday when speaking to reporters in Canberra.

“The cost should be taken out of the equation here and we should be accommodating that wish as soon as possible, preferably before the next election.”

While the Prime Minister favours the most expensive option, the Labor party have said that their position remains that the change could be enacted simply through a parliamentary vote that would not incur a cost.



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