Hartsuyker to vote yes in Parliament for marriage equality
WHEN a bill calling for marriage equality is presented in the House of Representatives, Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said he will be voting yes.
Of the 96,125 voters from the Cowper electorate who particpated in the postal survey, 60% of them voted in support of same-sex marriage. It's a result that Mr Hartsuyker said he won't be ignoring.
"It's a very emphatic result both nationally and locally in the electorate of Cowper with 60% of people in Cowper voting yes and slightly more at a national level," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"The wishes of the people of Australia is clear and I've said through the entire survey period that should the Australian population as a whole vote yes that I would certainly vote that way on the floor of the Parliament."
Mr Hartsuyker said he wasn't surprised at all this morning when the results of the postal survey were announced by the overwhelming numbers that voted in favour of marriage equality.
"It was certainly consistent with the feedback that I'd been getting as I got around the electorate," he said.
"Quite clearly when these types of surveys are made and when ballots are taken it's difficult to predict what the result is but I was certainly getting very strong feedback that there was overwhelming support for the legalisation of same sex marriage."
Mr Hartsuyker said having 79.2% of voters take part in the survey in Cowper and a similar participation figure across Australia was pleasing.
"It was an outstanding participation rate. I think that when you look at other plebiscites that have been held it is head and shoulders above those. Above the US presidential election," he said.
"I think it made it clear that the people of Australia wanted to have their say, wanted to have their voice heard and that's reflected in that participation rate of around 80%."
The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources said the participation rate proves the postal survey, which cost in excess of $120 million, was a worthwhile exercise.
"I think that 80% of the Australian people entitled to respond to the survey turned out and had their say is an endorsement of the process that people wanted to have their say," he said.
"Democracy is not cheap but democracy was expressed through the survey and the wishes of those who voted yes will be met through the parliamentary process."
Two bills on the issue, one drafted by Liberal Senator Dean Smith and another more controversial one by fellow Liberal Senator James Paterson, are being discussed prior to the next sitting of Parliament in Canberra which begins on November 27.
Mr Hartsuyker said the bill from Sen. Smith is a considered view.
"The bill that was circulated by Senator Smith broadly reflects the Senate committee deliberations and the Attorney-General has issued an exposure draft," he said.
"I certainly am of the view that there will be healthy debate on the floor of the Parliament, there will be amendments moved and we will see the parliamentary process occur.
"And I'll be certainly participating in that."