“This is not about getting to a decision, this is about frustrating a decision.”
With a postal plebiscite on marriage equality looming, Chifley MP Ed Husic and Lindsay MP Emma Husar have come out swinging.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government’s decision to stick with its election policy showed strong leadership.
“I'm a strong leader. I made that promise again and again…you heard me say again and again that every Australian will have a say on this issue,” he said.
The government’s second attempt to pass legislation for a national compulsory plebiscite was voted down today, meaning that, barring a High Court challenge, Australians will vote on marriage equality via the post.
Mr Husic said Mr Turnbull was bowing to internal party pressures.
“We shouldn’t be subjected to a $122 million postal vote because the Prime Minister has a spine of plasticine,” he said on Sky News.
“We should just be able to get this done.
“Our parliament makes decisions, life and death decisions, and we never subject them [the public] to a plebiscite.”
Ms Husar said the government’s refusal to allow a free vote in parliament was a blow to the local LGBTI community.
“It’s a waste of money for conducting a plebiscite when we could have a vote in Parliament today. What are we employed to do,” she said.
“$122 million could go a long way. People in Lindsay would prefer the government to work and direct money on ways to fund Nepean Hospital, finding ways to reduce our power bill and getting our NBN working.
“The feedback I have had from people in Lindsay overwhelmingly support marriage equality.
“John Howard was able to change the Marriage Act in 2004 without a plebiscite so why can’t Malcolm Turnbull just get on with what he majority of people want.”