When the government didn’t get the numbers to pass legislation for a same-sex marriage plebiscite it put the wheels in motion for its second-best plan: a postal survey.
Since announcing that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) would be responsible for carrying out the postal survey, Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann has had no shortage of questions from journalists and on social media.
In the absence of normal protections offered by the Australian Electoral Commission, Cormann says the government is developing legislation to ensure the respective “yes” and “no” campaigns are respectful.
Similarly, issues around accessibility to the postal vote are being worked out by the ABS, with a paperless option being created for certain circumstances.
On the High Court challenges to be heard September 5 and 6 he says that while no forms will be sent out until September 12 – after the issue is resolved – any money spent preparing the postal survey will have been spent. “We believe the course of action we have chosen is constitutional and legal but this is now a matter for the High Court.”