FREMANTLE just missed out on a top-20 place for supporting marriage equality in the national vote, with results announced Wednesday.
But mayor Brad Pettitt’s proud of the electorate’s “progressive” and “inclusive” voters saying that was why the city took the decision to campaign on the issue.
Fremantle’s vote was a resounding 70.1 per cent in support of same sex marriages, somewhat behind Melbourne’s high of 83.7 per cent. Former prime minister Paul Keating’s old electorate Blaxland bought up the rear, mustering a measly 26 per cent support.
In April this year Freo council adopted a proclamation in support of marriage equality and wrote to all Federal MPs urging them to allow a conscience vote on the issue.
Council Jeff McDonald, who moved the proclamation, said Parliament must move quickly to amend the Marriage Act.
“Whilst the divisive and damaging plebiscite may be over, the issue of marriage equality is not yet resolved,” Cr McDonald said.
He was backed by state MP Simone McGurk who said she’s proud of the city’s voters but sad $122 million got wasted in a pointless vote.
“Federal parliament needs to get this done by Christmas,” Ms McGurk said.
But Notre Dame senior politics lecturer Martin Drum warns it may still be bumpy. Dr Drum says opponents may swamp the debate with amendments to delay the legislation until parliament shuts down for the year or make it impossible for Labor to support the bill, giving them the opportunity to paint the Opposition as wreckers.
by STEVE GRANT