It will cost almost $100 million (U.S.), even though its result can be ignored by Parliament, and – in terms of statistical accuracy – could be better achieved by a polling company at the cost of a few thousand dollars.
It comes as a huge relief to the government, which would have been left scratching for a back-up plan if the ballot had been declared unconstitutional. Furthermore, the court ordered that the plaintiffs must pay the costs of the entire case.
Legal experts suggest that the core argument was whether the government unlawfully appropriated funds for the postal vote without parliamentary approval.
Following the High Court decision being handed down, the Law Council of Australia (LCA) said it is strongly advocating a “yes” vote. “I respect every Australian’s view on this matter”, Turnbull told Parliament, referring to his wife Lucy Turnbull.
Richardson said Cormann knew there was a pre-election commitment to hold a compulsory plebiscite on same-sex marriage, which the government costed at $177m.
Even the decision alone to sanction the survey – which is voluntary, unlike in-person elections in Australia – has proved deeply unpopular on both sides of the issue.
Shorten asked Turnbull to join him in writing to all Australians urging a yes vote.
Australia’s Attorney General George Brandis and Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann said the survey will be sent out on September 12. “We’ve always said the way this should be done (in Australia) is the way all issues pertaining to people’s rights are dealt with, by parliament”.
We face a huge challenge but together, and in support of each other, we can send a message that will reverberate right across this country, emphasising that fairness matters and that love will win!
ABS Statistician David Kalisch at a Senate hearing today.
Already posters have been put in major cities calling homosexuality “a tragedy of a family”, while a government lawmaker compared a loving LGBT relationship to hanging with his “cycling mates”.
However, if the challenges are not accepted by the apex court, the postal vote will go on from Sep 12- Oct 27. There are 16 million on the roll.
“We want to say to people who are feeling disappointed, “Please turn your disappointment into determination”.
The ballot papers will read, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks about an alleged terror plot at a press conference in Sydney on December 23, 2016.