“Delegates, on the issue of marriage I think the reality is that there is cultural, religious,
historical view around in respect of this.
“The party position is very clear, that this is an institution matter between a man and woman.”
*** Interjection: ((calls of ``shame'' from floor)) ****
“Not my words delegates, they were the words of Senator Wong, who I understand up to
about two minutes ago, supported that position.
“Now, I respect Senator Wong's right to change her mind and to express a view. But I also
respect that this is a difficult issue for lots and lots of people within our party and within the
“Delegate Wong has spoken about the political consequences of not making a change that
they are seeking. But I ask you to have a look at what happened at the last federal election.
“Not long after Prime Minister Gillard was appointed, she was asked the question, what was
her position on gay marriage? And she was quite unequivocal about this, delegates, she
came out and said right from day one that she supported the current policy of the Labor Party,
which was only introduced at our last national conference, and she was quite clear.
“She went to the election with the position that marriage is between a man and woman. Now,
in this state, Amanda Rishworth in the seat of Kingston got a 10 per cent swing to her. Nick
Champion in the seat of Wakefield got a 6 per cent swing, Tony Zappia got a 6 per cent swing
to him. So, the position we went to the last election with was in fact supported by the vast bulk
of people in South Australia and we have now formed government.
“What's happening delegates is we've been hijacked by the policies of the Greens. The
Greens are running a bowl of issues up and trying to wedge the Labor Party.
“I say to the Greens, we are not going to be wedged on this issue. We are going to support
the position of the national conference, we're going to support the position of the Prime
Minister, and we are going to continue to support the policy of this party, which is that
marriage is between a man and a woman.
“Now, the reality is delegates we can do nothing about what the national policy is going to be.
If for the next 12 months we have a knock `em down, drag `em out battle in the Labor Party
over this issue, there'll only be one winner out of that, and that will be Tony Abbott. We know
what his position is very clearly on this issue, and it isn't going to change.
“Now if we want to win the next election, and I certainly do, we now work in the circumstances
of a hung parliament. We have to win seats in Queensland and in Western Australia.
“We can't win any more seats in Victoria, we can't win any more seats in Tasmania and it will
be very hard to win seats here in South Australia. We've got to win seats in Queensland and
Western Australia. We can't win seats in those key states with the change in policy being
“The consequence of that is that if we put this resolution through it will be an Abbott
government that makes a decision on this in the next parliament, not a Labor government.
“I want a Labor government to be there, I want a Labor government to be introducing Labor
Party policies, I want a Labor government to be there for all the things we've already done in
effect to reduce discrimination.
“In the last parliament we had 84 pieces of legislation that removed discrimination against
same sex couples. But if we pass a resolution in the form that is being proposed we will never
be in government again to introduce this legislation.''