- ABS announces 12.6 million Australians (78.5%) have returned their postal surveys
- Today is the final day to deliver forms to the ABS in person
- Hand-delivered forms accepted at ABS drop-off centres until 4.30pm
The Equality Campaign has described today’s announcement that nearly four out of five people have returned their marriage equality postal surveys as a “phenomenal result” that reflects the resolve of ordinary Australians to achieve dignity and equality for all.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced today that 12.6 million Australians, or 78.5% of eligible voters, had returned their postal survey forms by last Friday, an increase of 300,000 from the previous tally.
The Equality Campaign’s Anna Brown welcomed the last minute returns, saying the turnout was now one of the highest in the world for a voluntary ballot.
“Nearly four out of five people is a phenomenal turnout, and the final tally is still to come. It is not inconceivable that we could exceed 80% by the time the survey finally closes.
“We are grateful to the millions who have voted and the tens of thousands of volunteers who have campaigned long and hard for all Australians to be given a fair go.
“This extraordinary turnout shows that Australians have taken the campaign seriously, and they are determined to show their politicians what it means to act in a decisive way. It highlights how important this issue is to Australians.
“Civil marriage equality takes from no-one. It will make a profound difference to the lives and dignity of LGBTI Australians and their family and friends,” Anna Brown said.
Voters have only a few hours left to return their postal forms before the survey closes at 6pm in each State and Territory. For forms to be counted, they must be hand delivered to ABS drop-off centres before 4.30pm. Online and phone voters have until 9pm AEDT.
Alex Greenwich, from the Equality Campaign, said once the survey closes tonight, the country faces a nervous wait for the result to be revealed at 10am on 15 November.
“This next week is going to be a long and uncomfortable one for many LGBTI people and their allies who have worked so hard to achieve a YES result.
“It’s time to look after each other and ensure anyone who is doing it tough gets the extra support they need. Help is available and we urge people to reach out for assistance and not try to battle through this on their own.”
Greenwich said attention would now turn to the next stage of the campaign.
“After being put through this process, Australians won't stomach politicians playing with the lives of their gay and lesbian friends and family members any longer.
“We’ve had the survey, we’ve got the bill, and lets hope the will of the Australia people is reflected in the result. From the 15th of November, it will be time for federal politicians to do their jobs and vote this through,” Alex Greenwich concluded.
Contact: Steve Offner 0424 580 208