New England candidates speak on postal vote result

The Leader has contacted the 17 candidates for the New England by-election about their stance on same-sex marriage. Here are their responses so far.

Barnaby Joyce – The Nationals

A spokesperson for the former MP said Mr Joyce wouldn’t be commenting on the result, as he would not be in parliament in time to vote on it, if successfully elected.

However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wants the legislation passed by early December - with the New England byelection on December 2, Mr Joyce may be back in parliament for the vote.

Mr Joyce has always been a supporter of traditional marriage, but in the past said he would respect the outcome of the postal survey and vote with the majority.

Read more:  Region’s SSM supporters celebrate positive result

Peter Wills – Greens

While welcoming the YES result on the Marriage Equality postal survey, New England Greens candidate Pete Wills slammed the Turnbull government and the role the Nationals played in putting Australians through a “hurtful, wasteful” postal survey.

"This was the most expensive opinion poll in history, the result of which was entirely predictable," Mr Wills said.

"The community did not need to be put through this divisive exercise, but the Turnbull government and the Nationals insisted upon it anyway.

"There can be no more excuses and no more delays. Australians expect Marriage Equality to be legislated in time for Christmas, so more people than ever can get married in 2018.

Pete Mailler – CountryMinded

Mr Mailler said he and his party supported same-sex marriage, and questioned which way Mr Joyce would vote if he was in parliament when the vote goes down.

“Would he represent the wishes of the majority of his constituents, or would he oppose legislation on this issue?” Pete asked.

“This is one important question among many others that need to be answered.

“The best way for Barnaby Joyce to answer those questions is to turn up to the Meet the Candidates Meeting in Tamworth on November 20, where he can debate the issues with other candidates, inform constituents and engage with the media.

“Those duties were included in his original job description after all.”

Warwick Stacey – Seniors United Party of Australia

Mr Warwick that he “accepted the outcome” of the public survey, despite personally being against same-sex marriage.

“While the Seniors United does not have a formal position on same sex marriage individual members are allowed a conscious vote and I voted no because I believe strongly in traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” Mr Stacey said.

Mr Stacey said that he wanted to ensure that the legislation that is introduced into parliament has very strong protections for religious freedom.

“It is very important that religious freedoms are protected and that ministers and priest cannot be sued if they refused to conduct same sex marriages,” he said.

“And as far as third parties are concerned who want to refuse their services and/or products I have a personal view that they should be protected as well”.