MAYOR of Port Stephens, Bruce MacKenzie will write to every Council in New South Wales to garner support for a free vote in Federal Parliament on same sex marriage, after Council last night voted in favour of a notice of motion rejecting the planned plebiscite on the issue on financial grounds.
With the estimated cost of holding a non-binding plebiscite reportedly around $160million, Port Stephens Councillors voted unanimously in support of the move to approach Councils across the state to gain their support for a free vote.
Mayor MacKenzie said the cost, combined with non-binding nature of the plebiscite, was his greatest concern.
“I support anyone who wants to get married and this motion is about our elected representatives taking a vote and making a decision – a free vote on this issue is the only way forward,” he said.
“The federal government wants to waste funds that could go to other worthy causes on a plebiscite asking the people of Australia a question that the politicians themselves will ultimately have to answer.
“To think that the Australian taxpayer will go through the rigmarole of an exercise, the result of which is in no way binding seems like a pointless exercise to me.
“The federal government needs to do their job and facilitate a fair and open discussion on what is clearly an important social issue.
“How about we use some of the $160million to help the homeless, or education, or maybe even to assist with infrastructure backlogs?
“The Government could do worse than follow their own mandate of facilitating ‘Jobs and Growth’ by investing $160million elsewhere.”