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Nick Xenophon Team confirm they will not vote for plebiscite

XENOPHON

South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has announced this his parliamentary team will vote against plebiscite-enabling legislation in Canberra along with the Greens, casting doubt on the future of the public vote.

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In a statement released by The NXT, the party revealed they do not support the proposed plebiscite on marriage equality when it can be resolved by free vote without a $160 million cost to the taxpayer.

“In our representative democracy we are paid to make decision on behalf of Australians who have voted us into office,” the statement reads

“This is a decision the parliament should make now.”

The team’s three senators and one Lower House MP are all supporters of marriage equality, and believe the vote is a misuse of government funds.

“The plebiscite, which in any event could be disregarded by the parliament, could be in the order of $160m or more. We believe this money could be better spent,” the statement continued.

The four-strong NXT will join The Greens‘ nine Senators and one MP in the House of Representatives as well as incoming Senator Derryn Hinch in attempting to block the public vote, which could see legislation halted altogether should Labor decide to block the vote.

Members of the Coalition Government have indicated there will be no alternative plan should the plebiscite fail to pass, and NSW Senator Arthur Sinodinos told Sky News that he was not willing to speculate what that outcome would bring.

Also speaking to Sky News, Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said Labor leader Bill Shorten should “do what is right in the circumstances” and show his support for the Government’s planned plebiscite.

“We won the election, we took to the election a plebiscite policy,” Frydenberg said.

“Sure, it’s not [Shorten’s] ideal solution but he’s the opposition, and we’re the government and we won the election, and he should start getting used to that, rather than walking around ‘punch-drunk’ thinking that he won an election that he didn’t.”

OIP Staff

Sources

 

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