Even after conceding electoral victory to the Coalition, Opposition leader Bill Shorten still refuses to offer definite support for the Coalition’s proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Shorten’s refusal to concede to the will of the people.
"Let's see if we can't have a conscience vote in the Parliament first-off," he said when asked about the issue on Monday.
"I think the nation, the people of Australia, made it clear they want the Parliament to work," Mr Shorten said. "I think it would be a lot more practical and common sense to have a vote in the Parliament and be done with the issue and then we can get on with the other big issues, which are out there too."
When asked a second time if Labor would block the plebiscite, which has 69 per cent support according to the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll, Mr Shorten said: "We'll have a look at this matter."
"I wish Mr Turnbull would reconsider his position. Do we really need in Australia to have a damaging plebiscite?"
Shorten could use his opposition to prevent the plebiscite from passing in Parliament, leveraging Labor and Greens support against the narrowly held Coalition majority. He has pointed to Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage as justification.
Mr Shorten has repeatedly referenced Ireland's 2015 referendum on same-sex marriage, required by their constitution, as a "destructive" and "harmful" experience to be avoided while the Prime Minister has expressed confidence that Australians could have a respectful debate.
Don’t be fooled: Shorten’s comments on same-sex marriage stem not from a concern for the voice of the Australian people, but from the desire to push his own agendas on the electorate. We cannot have a “respectful debate” unless we let the people voice their opinion on marriage.