Same Sex Marriage hits the lower house


The same sex marriage legislation has hit the lower house and is expected to pass this week.

During a second reading debate, members can speak for up to 15 minutes as the House considers any bill.

As you can imagine, many members are using this time to share stories from their electorates as well as their reflections on the whole debate. The House has extended its sittings for the week.

The amendments to add religious and freedom of conscience protections are set to fail, mainly because Labor has bound its members to vote no to all of them.

We’ll keep you in the loop when the bill is passed. Attached are two graphics, showing the strongest results from the survey.

Barnaby victorious in historic by-election result

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‘We’re getting the band back together!’ said Malcolm Turnbull, upon hearing the massive victory Barnaby Joyce received in the New England by-election.

And massive it was – a 7.3% swing towards him, and primary vote of 64%.

Historically, by-elections in government held seats since WWII have resulted in the Government feeling swings away from them. This is clearly in the opposite direction and is so for three reasons:

He is a popular member, with a prominent position inside the government
He did not have an opposition candidate that was well known.
It’s recognised that he’s in a difficult situation!

Barnaby will take his seat in the House of Representatives once the vote is formally declared. Next stop – Bennelong on December 16

Barnaby Joyce to face New England Voters Today

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Today the voters of New England will head to the ballot box, following Barnaby Joyce’s disqualification by the High Court over dual citizenship.
It is widely accepted that he will be returned as the member, but we may not know tonight, given the large number of candidates – 17!
The Deputy Prime Minister won his seat in the 2016 election with a primary vote of 52.9%.
That is expected to dip slightly, but he should win on preferences. The Bennelong by election is on December 16

Government Establishes Banking Royal Commission

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Australia’s big four banks have asked the Government for a Royal Commission into themselves. And the Turnbull Government has agreed.

Federal Cabinet met this morning and agreed to establish a Royal Commission that will report by February 1 2019, at a cost of 75 million dollars.

In a letter written to the government, the CEO’s of the four major banks say this is now in the ‘national interest’, despite warning that such a commission may bring reputational damage to the industry.

This comes after years of the Government rejecting such a proposal (including during the election).

The Commission will be into ‘Misconduct into the Financial Services Industry’ and will include cases studies into banks, wealth managers, superanuation companies and the industry. It will then offer recommendations to the Government.


Dastyari resigns over Chinese connections. Again.

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Bill Shorten has asked Sam Dastyari to resign over his links to Chinese donors. Again.

He will remain a Senator for NSW.

The resignation comes following fresh revelations of his connections to a Chinese businessman living in Australia, who is actively involved with the Chinese Communist Party.

In December last year Dastyari was busted for having several legal and travel bills paid for by Huang Xiangmo. During the 2016 election, Dastyari spoke at a press conference when he made comments on the South Chinese Sea Dispute that were contrary to Labor Party policy.

These comments are connected to a $400,000 donation Mr Huang made to Labor shortly after.

Dastyari said these comments on the dispute were ‘garbled and off the cuff’. In the last 24 hours, the ABC released audio of that press conference for Chinese language media that made it clear that the remarks were scripted

In addition to this, it’s reported that Sam told Mr Huang that his phone may have been tapped by American and Australian Authorities.

Yesterday’s revelations appear to be the final straw.

Senate returns to consider Same Sex Marriage legislation

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The Senate has just resumed debating the Same Sex Marriage legislation. It will have until November 30 to pass it and the House of Representatives will then consider the legislation next Monday. It’s expected that the bill encounter some resistance, and several amendments.
Here is some interesting data coming out of the survey results:
1. 17 out of 150 electorates voted no – the majority were Labor seats in Western Sydney, which are highly multi-cultural.
2. Females voted in greater numbers than males (females aged 18-74 returned more ballots than males).
3. The lowest turnout came from the NT at just 58%, the highest was the ACT at 82.4%
4. All but one Nationals electorate votes yes, busting the myth that the bush is morally conservative.
5. Every age bracket voted yes, busting the myth that older voters would stack the result for ‘No’.
6. Younger generations participated in far greater numbers than expected.
7. A majority of voters and 100% of the States and Territories voted yes – the results show that it would have passed Australia’s highest test (a referendum to change the constitution).

Australia Votes Yes

Marriage Survey Results - National and State (1)

Australians have voted ‘YES’ to changing the law to allow same sex couples to marry.

With response rate of just under 80% ,the survey has more authority than the Brexit vote (72%), the Irish same sex referendum (60%) and the poll that elected Donald Trump (56%).

So where to from here? From today, it’s now a battle for the marriage bills.

The Turnbull government will allow Senator Dean Smith to put up a private members bill for debate. It is expected that it will almost certainly pass. Using a private members bill will by-pass debate in the government party room.

Senator James Patterson has put up his own bill that includes additional protections for business owners to refuse services for same sex marriage celebrations. It is expected that this bill will not pass, but elements of this bill will try to be amended into the Smith bill.

Senator Dean Smith will kick off the debate in the Senate tomorrow.