SSM debate, govt delayed lower house sitting to early Dec

BYYasir Rehman
SOURCEThe Australian


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With growing frictions in Turnbull government over religious protection laws, govt today postponed the next sitting of the House of Representatives by a week, media reports said.

“The Australian people expect their parliament to respect the clear mandate of the marriage survey and legislate for marriage equality before the end of the year,” Leader of the House Christopher Pyne said in a statement on Monday.

The decision also paves the way for Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to be present the next time the House of Representatives sits, if he is successful in the by-election for his northern NSW seat of New England on December 2, The Australian reported.

Mr. Pyne said that The Australian people expect their Parliament to respect the clear mandate of the marriage survey and legislate for marriage equality before the end of the year.

“We also need to ensure both the House and the Senate do all they can to resolve the citizenship issue. That is the commitment we have made and that is what the Australian people expect.”

Mr Pyne said the Senate was unlikely to finish debating the same-sex marriage bill until November 30.

“On that basis, and as the House is not currently sitting, the Prime Minister and I have consulted the Speaker and asked that he set an alternative day for the next meeting of the House, in accordance with the Standing Orders,” he said.

“While it is entirely possible both matters could be dealt with in the week beginning 4 December, Members should be prepared for the House to sit for some or all of the second week beginning 11 December or as long as it takes legislate for marriage equality and resolve all citizenship issues.

“We will move the resolution on the new citizenship disclosure regime in the House on December 4, setting a deadline of 8pm on Tuesday December 5 for disclosures to be lodged by Members.

“We look forward to Labor’s support for that resolution the text of which has been agreed with the Opposition and already adopted in the Senate.

“The terms of the resolution have been shared with all Members and this time frame for lodgement of disclosures is not unreasonable.

“Any referrals to the High Court resulting from members’ disclosures will be debated after the passage of the marriage equality bill.”