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10 August 2017, 10:40 | Melissa Porter
The cost would have been 170 million Australian dollars ($135 million).
Same-sex marriage has been a sticking point for the government since the election after promising to take the matter to the people.
No. Unlike the original proposal - in-person plebiscite - the postal vote is not mandatory. Results would be made public by November 25.
The results will not be legally binding on MPs, who are digging in for a...
Voting in elections is compulsory in Australia and would also be so in any plebiscite.
"Instead of respecting the expressed will of the elected representatives of the Australian people, the government is attempting to subvert the will of parliament and force a public vote", said Brady.
"If Scott Morrison thinks wasting $122 million on a divisive and harmful and non-binding opinion poll is money well spent, is there any wonder that the budget is in such bad condition on his watch", he said. I can't imagine watching it and coming away still supporting a postal plebiscite, though the government is doing just that.
Labor and crossbench senators have already slammed the new plan, which appears doomed before it's even attempted. The mail-in ballot was the backup plan, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed at a prior press conference, according to United Press International.
Marriage equality activists are launching a High Court bid to head off the ballot, saying it breaches the constitution, and funding the vote exceeds the government's power.
Mr Dreyfus didn't rule out Labor joining the legal action but said the party would only take that step if the case was not being put "adequately".
Turnbull wants to make sure that the Senate does not stop him from following through.
"It's going to be important for this debate to be conducted with courtesy and respect", he said.
Aside from the legal threat, the Turnbull Government is facing pressure from the Australian Christian Lobby.
Cormann said the treasurer would direct the Australian statistician to request a voluntary collection of information on Australians' views on same-sex marriage, allowing the ABS to run the postal vote using staff seconded from the Australian Electoral Commission.
"That will be frustrating for advocates of marriage equality because it is absolutely clear in Australian law that Parliament could make this change today or this week if it wanted to,"said Ryan Goss, a senior lecturer in law at Australian National University".
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