An Illawarra Labor MP has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to “pull your socks up” and ditch the “mad idea” of a same-sex marriage plebiscite in favour of a parliamentary vote, saying most Australians have already made up their minds on the issue.
Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones took to social media to vent his disappointment following Monday afternoon’s Liberal party room meeting, which rejected any changes to the government's same-sex marriage policy.
“They have just spent two hours, two hours, locked in a party room only to decide to keep their policy the same as it was this morning [Monday],” Mr Jones said in a Twitter video.
“They want to put the proposition for a plebiscite back to the same Senate that has rejected it.”
Mr Jones said other issues, like rising youth unemployment and flat-lining wages growth, were at play while the Liberals were “turning themselves inside out”.
“Come on Malcolm, you said you were going to be better than this,” he said.
“If you don’t pull your socks up, the people of Australia are going to boot you out.”
Mr Turnbull announced on Tuesday the government would attempt to hold a same-sex marriage plebiscite on November 25.
If the legislation is rejected, the government would hold a postal vote ballot over eight weeks from September.
Mr Jones – who first moved a private members’ bill on the issue in the Federal Parliament in 2012 –told the Parliament on Tuesday the $122 million postal vote was “nothing more than a glorified opinion poll”.
A YouGov-Fifty Acres poll showed 51 per cent of 1005 respondents thought the decision should be made via a plebiscite.
Twenty-nine per cent backed a parliamentary vote.