The Leader of the House, Christopher Pyne confirmed the Lower House will sit until same-sex marriage is legalised. The House was due to sit on November 27 but that has now been pushed back to December 4.
Mr Pyne informed reporters in Adelaide, “We will sit until marriage equality and citizenship are dealt with.”
Mr Pyne stated that the government would then pass a bill confirming a citizenship disclosure register. This would mean all parliamentarians would need to have their paperwork in by 8pm on Tuesday, December 5.
The deadline would leave just two days for any referrals to the high court. A bill has already passed in the Senate which will require senators to have their paperwork in by December 1.
Mr Pyne stated, “It gives them a little extra time … to get on with the task, which presumably they have already begun, which is trying to scrape up all of the family lineage.”
The one week extension gives the Senate another sitting week to pass same-sex marriage before it reaches the House of Representatives.
“The Senate has set a timeline that means it is unlikely to finish debating the marriage equality bill until November 30. 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.”
The delay also means that parliament will not resume until two days after the New England by-election where Barnaby Joyce is expected to be re-elected.
In response, opposition leader Bill Shorten tweeted, “Turnbull is running scared from the Parliament. If you can’t run the Parliament, you can’t run the country”.
Turnbull is running scared from the Parliament. If you can't run the Parliament, you can't run the country.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 20, 2017
Greens Senators and other MPs have condemned the Prime Minister, claiming that Turnbull is in-fact attempting to avoid a rebellion within the coalition over a banking royal commission.
But Mr Pyne says the government is not trying to delay to shore up its numbers, because Mr Joyce would likely not be sworn in right away.