FEDERAL Member for Mallee Andrew Broad is reportedly prepared to carry out his threat to quit the government ranks if parliament votes on same-sex marriage.
Mr Broad said in October that would withdraw his support for the government if it tried to bring about same-sex marriage by any mechanism other than the plebiscite.
“The government that I am a part of and will remain a part of is conditional on the fact that the only way that there will be a change to the Marriage Act in this parliament is a plebiscite,” Mr Broad said previously.
Mr Broad later qualified his comments and said he would guarantee his budget supply vote to the government if he moved to the crossbench.
Sky News reported on Thursday morning that Mr Broad’s colleagues were worried that we could carry out his threat from last year.
Several Liberal lower house members have indicated that they were prepared to cross the floor and vote with the opposition in order to force debate on a bill legalising same-sex marriage.
If the bill passes the lower house, it will likely pass the senate as well.
Sky News stated Mr Broad had told National Party colleague he will maintain his threat and will discuss the issue with party leader Barnaby Joyce later on Thursday.
After Mr Broad made his original threat, Mr Joyce criticised the decision via a Radio National interview.
“I said, as you would expect, ‘that is not helpful’,” Mr Joyce said.
“I clearly said this is not the preferable way to do business.
“I’m not going to go into every word I said but, quite obviously, any person in parliament making a statement that they’re going to bring down the government, I don’t think the Australian people want that.”
If a plebiscite, a non-legally binding referendum, is held, Mr Broad has previously stated he will vote for or against same-sex marriage based on the result from the Mallee electorate.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has pledged to vote in line with any national result.
The government has considered holding the plebiscite via postal ballot rather than an election-style vote.
Mr Broad has been contacted for comment.
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