Simon Birmingham says Labor will ‘play political games’ with marriage bill

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has dismissed reports that there are divisions within the Liberal party over potential legislation that will allow for marriage equality.

Appearing on the Sky News program Karvelas, Birmingham said the government’s loss of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce would have no effect on how the effectiveness of the parliament, and if the ‘Yes’ campaign was successful in the marriage postal survey, it was reasonable to expect the legislation would be quickly passed.

On Friday, National party leader Barnaby Joyce was ruled ineligible to sit in the parliament by the High Court because of his undeclared dual citizenship. He will contents a by-election in early December with hopes to re-enter the parliament.

“The deputy Prime Ministers position is irrelevant to that,” Birmigham said, when asked if the government would struggle to maintain control of the parliament.

“I predict the Labor party will seek to play all manner of games in the parliament, but the government will get on with its job and if the Australian people, when the postal survey result comes back, have indicated a ‘yes’ vote, then the government will get on with what we promised the Australian people we would do, which is facilitating debate on legislation to deliver marriage equality.”

Senator Birmingham said he trusted that nobody in the parliament would play games with issues given that they government had given a commitment when it decided to hold the postal survey. Senator Birmingham said he was confident the issue would be dealt with before Christmas.

Manager of Opposition Business in the house, Tony Burke, later told the program that the Labor party was committed to helping the government get its legislation passed withing the final fortnight of parliament sitting.

While Birmingham has suggested the Labor party could delay the passage of a marriage bill by playing political games, conservative MPs within his own party are reportedly planning to request up to 100 amendments to the suggested bill.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has often said that he can guarantee that the issue would be dealt with before Christmas.

OIP Staff

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