News

Turnbull will have to toe party line

Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull has voiced his support for a conscience vote on gay marriage.
Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull has voiced his support for a conscience vote on gay marriage. Cade Mooney

A CONSCIENCE vote on gay marriage does not look likely in Federal Parliament leaving Opposition frontbencher and civil unions supporter Malcolm Turnbull with no choice but to follow his party line.

Speaking at the Southern Cross University Michael Kirby Lecture Series on the Gold Coast on Friday, Mr Turnbull, who has voiced his support for a conscience vote on the controversial topic, said it did not look likely his leader would change his mind.

"I don't think Mr (Tony) Abbott is likely to change his mind; he has made a decision on that and he has the support of the party room," he said.

Two bills on civil unions recently went through the parliamentary committee process but are not expected to go before Federal Parliament until the end of the year.

Despite the delay, Mr Turnbull is confident federally-recognised civil unions will become a reality.

"While I am very doubtful the numbers are there to legislate for gay marriage in the Federal Parliament I think they are certainly there to legislate for civil unions," he said. "I think it would be a great pity if marriage is not able to be passed in the parliament and that opportunity to pass civil unions should be taken up.

"I think it will be between now and when the parliament is dissolved before the time of the election."

His remarks follow the Queensland Parliament's controversial move to repeal civil union laws and make surrogacy for same-sex couple illegal.

Mr Turnbull would not comment on the moves.

The coalition MP was scheduled to give a speech on gay marriage and human rights at the annual lecture last night but was not giving anything away to reporters beforehand.

He will be joined by former High Court Justice Michael Kirby, who has been a staunch advocate for gay rights throughout his very accomplished legal career.

Topics:  conscience vote, federal parliament, gay marriage, lnp, malcolm turnbull




Three people arrested over murder of Sabrina Bremer

Three people have been arrested over Sabrina Bremer's murder.

Two men and a woman have been arrested

WILD WEATHER: Brace for strong winds and destructive waves

Wild weather in Ballina. Palm trees along the Richmond River. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star

A massive low pressure system is bearing down on the North Coast

2016 JADA finalists announced

2014 JADA winner Emma Walker.

Record 568 entries from more than 400 artists

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

The proof is in the harmonies

FINALISTS: Jacob Reynolds, Grace McDonald, Chloe Skinner and Mitch Reynolds are Living Proof.

Local band hope to win big at competition

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m