Same Sex Legislated
Ross Greenwood speaks to Federal Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, about the next stage to get same sex marriage legislated, and how MP’s whose electorates voted no, will vote.
Introduction: How will Labour MP’s vote in electorates that said ‘No’?
Ross Greenwood: It was earlier today when finally the result of the same-sex marriage vote came through. This is how it happened.
Speaker: Yes responses 7,817,247 representing 61% of clear responses. That 61.6% of clear responses were Yes.
Ross Greenwood: With that, there was an outpouring of emotion right around the country. There is no doubt that those people who were supporters of same-sex marriage end this vote, now, we got big expectations upon our politicians in Sydney. One of those main campaigners make this events and of course, it broke out into celebration.
Magda Szubanski: We had eventually no leadership in this. We had lead ourselves and so –
Magda Szubanski: – they can rely on the Australian people to do the bloody right thing.
Ross Greenwood: That was Magda Szubanski at that rally today. Also at that rally, the Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce. He’s a man who himself personally put $1 million of his own money into the campaign and into advertising. Here’s a little of what he had to say.
Alan Joyce: We’ve seen the lack of leadership to politics, we’ve now seen a message from the Australian people to get on with it, we now all expect it, we need this to be delivered, and we need it to be delivered fast. [applause] present it to you now.
Ross Greenwood: It was really interesting today just to see the number of business leaders that came out. Many of the bank bosses were out there giving their support. On that is the big accounting firm, Deloitte and EVC from AGO and a number of others. Very shortly I’ll speak with Mark Haines, the president of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association founded in 1981.
It was as a result of some of the business lobbying and also the money that has actually helped to launch this campaign sends a very big message to our Federal Parliament. Now on the back of that, some of those who were clearly the campaigners for the No Vote include the former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott: I accept. I accept that we are now going to be a country that has same-sex marriage, I accept that. Sure, I wasn’t in the Yes Camp along with 4.7 million Australian. I think that our views need to be respected but likewise, the public have made their view crystal clear. I think the time has come to this and it’s going to happen.
Ross Greenwood: There you go. That is Tony Abbott conceding it. Now, what will happen inside our parliament and indeed what will happen in many of those Western Sydney electoral seats were quite clearly there were many liable seats. One was held by David Carman, the Liberal, that actually voted No. What will happen though when it comes to the parliament? Anthony Albanese is a member for Grayndler who’s also in this area but I will actually say that his seat of Grayndler had the second highest Yes vote in New South Wales. 79.9% of people there voted Yes. Many thanks for your time, Anthony.
Interview with: Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler
Anthony Albanese: Good to be with you.
Ross Greenwood: In regards to those seats, quite clearly, Western Sydney have sent a message. Have you got any reason as to why it might have been the case?
Anthony Albanese: Quite clearly, if you look at the makeup of those seats and you look at people who I had discussed and tweet over a considerable period of time, it was particularly people from the ethnic communities of faith. Whether that be the Islamic community or Greek Orthodox, the Coptic Christians. They were the groups who when I had discussions with them, and I certainly have always respected their views and I’m someone who have to consistently argued for a conscience vote to be held on these matters. There are people who had strong views, they clearly organized in those communities and the votes that were cast were registered accordingly.
I think though that it’s such a clear result. That it would be very hard for someone to argue that this wasn’t a legitimate process now that some 80% of people have voted which is extraordinary for a voluntary vote. Only around about 90% of people vote informally in general elections, so it’s very high turn out.
Ross Greenwood: You’re a very senior member of our parliament, just explain how you would expect the passage of this legislation that make it’s way through parliament.
Anthony Albanese: What will happen is that the Dean Smith Bill will form the basis of the consideration in the Senate firstly. It’ll be debated tomorrow by the Senate and then when the Senate comes back in two weeks time, it will continue to allocate time for debate as a priority, and they’ll go through all stages of the bill, will be completed before the Senate rises for that second last week. This parliament, normally, will sit Monday to Thursday. They’re going to sit right through it Thursday night, Friday night, they’ll do that. They’re doing that, clearly, to indicate that privilege to be mature about this and not filibuster for the sake of it.
People should be able to put forward their views and they will be but the Senate, I would expect, will pass the bill and I will visit there is some amendments considered to the Dean Smith Bill. Of course, it’s already been through a committee process with submissions it received earlier this year. Remarkably, a unanimous report from the senators, and that was a representative body, so that’s quite extraordinary in these times of a partisan politics for that to occur. There’s already been a lot of thought put into it, I agree she was enjoying their appropriate protections for religious institutions contained in the bill.
I think then, the House of Representatives will consider it on the Monday of the last week that we come back which is the 1st week of December, wed you to rite on the 7th of December and I expect that it will all be done and dusted by then. That is the expectation.
Ross Greenwood: In another words, anybody planning a wedding is what you’re saying, Anthony, could probably do a pre-Christmas wedding if they made it so.
Anthony Albanese: I think they certainly can. I’ve got to say it’s the Ciobo, Tourism Minister, there’s a big economic binders in this. Weddings cost a lot of money for those who haven’t so experienced them and the fact is, now more people are going to be out of there, experience the institution of marriage in Australia, I should imagine will be a tourist destination. New Zealand’s been doing quite well at about what’s known as the pink dollar in part because the conservative government there, legislated some time ago, a few years ago, for marriage equality.
Ross Greenwood: I want to just add one thing, and again, I wondered if it was okay to talk it not because of your seniority in our parliament, what advice have you got for Tony Abbott? Quite clearly, in his electorate, 75% of people voted Yes although he’s been an active No campaigner. Or say, for example, Jason Clare in Blaxland, Tony Burke in Watson, Chris Bowen in McMahon, Chris Hayes in Fowler. All AOP members were overwhelmingly– you’ve actually had No votes in those electorates yet clearly the AOP has been in favour of this marriage bill. Who do they represent? Do they represent the electorate or their party?
Anthony Albanese: There’s no party position on this. They have the right to vote as they see fit but I think that they’ve got to weigh up like it’s disease. Their electorate has had a say on this, yes, that’s correct. But also people do want politicians to stand up for what they believe in and they respect them for it. Certainly, in all of their case, whether they be pro or anti, anti in the case of Tony Abbott, certainly pro in the case of someone like Tony Burke, they’ve made their position clear and I think that the electorate would respect that in Tony Abbott’s case. Of course, he’s a bit more accomplished because he is the person who pushed for war at this plebiscite.
This has cost us $122 million to know what we already knew beforehand which is Australians do support marriage equality. I still maintain the fact that the parliament should have just done their job.
Ross Greenwood: Tell you what, it was good to have you in the program, Anthony Albanese. Yes, of course, not only a very senior member of the Liberal Party also the Shadow Infrastructure Transport and Tourism Minister as well and who seat of Grayndler. One of the highest Yes votes in the country dates 79.9%. Anthony, as always, we appreciate your time.
Anthony Albanese: Glad to be with you, Ross
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