Just 6 months since Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore's free Canberra booze-up - wonder if she'll pay it back now she's got the boot



Come say hi to Senator Skye!!!! Senator Skye loves free wine and free media coverage - see invite attached!

Senator Skye is having a taxpayer funded pissup in her taxpayer funded office at Parliament House.

Why don't we all accept? senator.kakoschke-moore@aph.gov.au


Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore


Senator for South Australia

Slater and Gordon announced GILLARD's exit from the firm one week before her 11 September 1995 record of interview

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To date, most of us have believed that GILLARD left Slater and Gordon after and perhaps as a result of her 11 September 1995 formally recorded interview with Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw.


The TURC published highly selective extracts from Slater and Gordon partnership meetings, commencing with the firm's 18 September 1995 minutes - here.

What is now clear from new material I've received is that the decision for her and MURPHY to leave was made well before that interview.

On Monday 4 September 1995 the partners met.

Peter Gordon gave a detailed explanation of what MURPHY and GILLARD had been up to.

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The Industrial Unit was to be reorganised and neither GILLARD nor MURPHY were part of the new plans.

Here is the formal announcement of GILLARD's "absence".

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The 1996 election wasn't called for another 4 months - note this extract from the AEC election report below:

It is not possible to nominate as a candidate for election until the writs have been issued. Candidates must nominate by 12 noon on the date specified on the writs as close of nominations.

1996 federal election timetable

An election timetable is determined by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA) and the Constitution.

The dates for the 1996 federal election are presented in the centre column below.
Timetable 1996 federal election dates Definitions
Announcement 27 January 1996 The Prime Minister announces the dissolution of parliament and the intention to hold an election.
Issue of Writs(Constitution s.12, 32, CEA s.151) 29 January 1996 (6pm) The issue of a writ triggers the election process. A writ is a document commanding an electoral officer to hold an election and contains dates for the close of rolls, the close of nominations, the polling day and the return of the writ.
Close of Rolls(CEA s.155) 5 February 1996 (8pm) Electors have until 8pm, seven days after the writs are issued to enrol or to update their enrolment.
Close of Nominations(CEA s.156) 9 February 1996 (12 noon) It is not possible to nominate as a candidate for election until the writs have been issued. Candidates must nominate by 12 noon on the date specified on the writs as close of nominations.
Polling Day(CEA s.157) 2 March 1996 (8am – 6pm) The day on which the majority of electors cast their vote at a polling place. It must be a Saturday and at least 33 days after the issue of the writs.
Return of Writs(CEA s.159) House of Representatives

1 April 1996

Senate: NT 25 March 1996 TAS+ACT 28 March 1996 QLD+WA 4 April 1996 NSW+SA 10 April 1996 VIC 11 April 1996

After the Senate polls are declared, the AEO for each State and Territory returns the writ endorsed with the names of the successful candidates to the State Governor (or Governor-General in the case of the Territories). For the House of Representatives, the Electoral Commissioner endorses on the writ the name of each candidate elected for each division and returns the writs to the Governor-General.
Meeting of Parliament(Constitution s.5) The 38th parliament met for the first time on 30 April 1996. The new parliament must meet within 30 days of the return of the writs.



On 6 September 1995 Geoff Shaw followed up with this further announcement, removing any doubt about MURPHY or GILLARD's ongoing roles.

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All of the above suggests that the purpose of the 11 September 1995 interview was backside covering rather than investigative.  That suggests that GILLARD had some leverage over the firm.  I'll have more on that soon.

I hope the prime minister who replaces Turnbull has a different opinion on the importance of understanding this corrupt chapter in Australia's history.

More evidence from the Slater and Gordon files

Here are a few pieces of evidence that might assist authorities in investigating The AWU Scandal.

In 1995 Andrew Taylor was Slater and Gordon's PR man.

Here is the header for one of his invoices from the time.

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For July 1995 these line items appear.

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On 25 July 1995 Taylor the PR guy met with Slater and Gordon's Paul Mulvaney and as a result of that meeting he "wrote a standby release".

On 26 July he had "meetings" with Nick Styant Browne.

He also met with Bernard Murphy and Sue Spence.

For the following month he logged 56 hours, or $4,480 worth of PR work on a "miscellaneous" item up until 23 August.

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Recall Paul Mulvaney's involvement in this matter - this extract from Gillard's 11 September 1995 record of interview refers.

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And finally this somewhat forgotten account of an interview between Mark Baker (then editor at large for Melbourne's The Age newspaper) and Nick Styant Browne.

As Baker points out - by 1994 Slater and Gordon knew of the involvement of the Workplace Reform Association in funding the Kerr Street purchase.






The firm was also disturbed about aspects of conveyancing work done by Gillard in 1993 for the purchase of a unit in Fitzroy. While the unit had been bought in the name of another AWU official, Ralph Blewitt, the transaction had been comprehensively managed by Wilson using a power of attorney drafted by Gillard.

What the senior partners did not know then, but discovered the following year, was that more than $100,000 towards the purchase of the property had been siphoned from the AWU Workplace Reform Association.

Gillard, then a salaried partner at Slater & Gordon, had been first challenged about her role in helping create the association and in assisting with the purchase of the Fitzroy unit at a meeting on 14 August, 1995, with Geoff Shaw and Nick Styant-Browne, an equity partner in charge of the firm's commercial department.

At that meeting Gillard confirmed she had not followed established procedures to open a formal file on the work done to incorporate the Workplace Reform Association. She had played down her role, claiming she had only given some advice about incorporation.

She also confirmed that she had drafted the power of attorney for Wilson without advising senior colleagues.

Gillard told Shaw and Styant-Browne that her unofficial file of paperwork relating to the Workplace Reform Association was no longer available as it had been passed on to someone outside the firm.

Immediately after that meeting, Gillard took leave and in her absence staff found the file in her office.

Questioned about this at her September 11 meeting with Shaw and senior partner Peter Gordon, Gillard said - according to the transcript of the recorded interview - that her recollection was ''that I hadn't opened a file on the system and that I had had some papers and at some point I had given the papers to [name redacted]''.

She said an assistant had found the papers in a cabinet: ''I was surprised … my recollection was I had given the papers to [name redacted]. I didn't expect them to be here and so I didn't go on a big hunt for it, really I should have. That was an error.''

She confirmed to the senior partners that she had not taken advice from anyone at Slater & Gordon about the structuring and incorporation of the association, an area in which the firm had experienced senior staff.

Gillard told Shaw and Gordon the association was a ''slush fund'' designed to gather money for union election campaigning.

But the application for the association's incorporation in 1992 and the rules drafted under Gillard's advice make no reference to campaign funding and declare the organisation's objectives to be the promotion of workplace safety and training.

At her news conference in August, Gillard offered a happy marriage of these seemingly diverse objectives: ''My understanding of the purpose of this association was to support the re-election of union officials who would run a campaign saying that they wanted re-election because they were committed to reforming workplaces in a certain way, to increasing occupational health and safety, to improving the conditions of members of the union.''

Gillard told journalists that after assisting with the incorporation she knew nothing about the workings of the association until ''matters were raised in 1995''.

She broke off her four-year relationship with Wilson days before her meeting with Shaw and Gordon, later saying she had been ''deceived'' by him.

At that meeting she was also questioned about her role in advising on the purchase of a $230,000 unit in Kerr Street, Fitzroy - a property Ralph Blewitt had never seen before it was bought in his name in February 1993 by Bruce Wilson, who attended the auction with Julia Gillard.

She said Wilson had persuaded Blewitt, a union crony based in Perth, to buy an investment property that he, Wilson, could live in. ''It made sense, I didn't have any particular reason to question it in great detail, or at all,'' she said.

After buying the property in Blewitt's name, Wilson managed all of the transaction, including the establishment of a $150,000 mortgage from a Slater & Gordon loan facility arranged by Gillard. A deposit payment of $67,722 transferred to Slater & Gordon's trust account was later found to have come from the AWU Workplace Reform Association, along with other amounts for stamp duty and costs.

Prior to the meetings in August and September 1995, Ms Gillard had not revealed to the senior partners that her boyfriend was involved in the transaction and that she had done the work without charge for her professional services.

Questioned by Peter Gordon, Gillard said that she had not made inquiries about the source of funds Ralph Blewitt would use to buy the property and service the mortgage: ''I assumed he had the money for the deposit and to meet the mortgage repayments when they fell due … To the extent that I thought about it, I hadn't made a careful inquiry about his financial circumstances.''

At her news conference, Gillard said she was unaware that funds stolen from the Workplace Reform Association had been used to buy the property: ''I did not, at that time, understand that any funds from any other source would be used to support the purchase, that is funds from the association or any other accounts related to the union.''

Gillard was also asked by journalists about persistent claims that AWU money may have been used to pay for renovations to a house she had bought in Abbotsford in 1991. Her answer was emphatic: ''I paid for my renovations.''

But in September 1995, when questioned extensively about the extent and nature of those renovations, Gillard was not so sure and was asked for, and agreed to, supply receipts for the work that had been done.

Peter Gordon: ''Julia, it's been put to a partner of Slater & Gordon in the last week that there exists a receipt with respect to renovation work conducted at your home which is in some way connected with funds from the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association account.''

Gillard said she had heard a rumour that after Wilson left the AWU someone had presented the union with an unpaid account for work on her house. She said this could relate to disputed work on the property's front windows and fence which she was in the process of settling.

''I can't categorically rule out that something at my house didn't get paid for by the association or something at my house didn't get paid for by the union or whatever,'' she said. ''I just, I don't feel confident saying I can categorically rule it out, but I can't see how it's happened because that really is the only bit of work that, that, that I would identify that I hadn't paid for.''

Gillard told her news conference that she had ''determined to resign'' from Slater & Gordon because of growing tensions about the direction of the partnership and to pursue a political career.

Asked whether she felt her future at Slater & Gordon had been ''on the line'' during the September 1995 meeting, Gillard said: ''It's 17 years ago. I don't have a clear recollection of those matters.''

But Peter Gordon does. In a draft statement leaked to The Australiantwo days earlier, he said the firm had contemplated sacking her because her relationship with the other partners had fractured and ''trust and confidence evaporated''. But in view of her repeated denials of wrongdoing, he believed she should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Whether she jumped or was pushed, after the September meeting Gillard effectively did not work with the firm again. She took extended leave in October 1995 to (unsuccessfully) campaign for a Senate seat and formally left early in 1996.

At the August news conference, one of the more sceptical journalists remarked: ''Prime Minister, you have said in the past that you were young and naive when you got involved with Mr Wilson. But, I mean, you were 30 at the time … It wasn't like you were off the first train from Adelaide.''


Bob Kernohan never stood a chance. Michael Costa, Peter Reith and "The Old Mates Act" made sure of that.

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This is an extract from the diary of now Commissioner Ian Cambridge.

Ian was at the time the joint secretary of the AWU.

He had called for a Royal Commission into the Gillard/Wilson etc allegations.

He'd also called for - amongst other things - a pecuniary interest register for union officials.

This exposition of Sussex Street power should send a chill up the spine (or those spines that are left) of all Australians who care about our democracy and equality before the law.

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Kathy Jackson to stand trial in the Victorian County Court on 166 theft and fraud charges

Kathy Jackson today appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court for a committal hearing of 166 fraud and theft charges.

A committal in Victoria's legal system is heard before a Magistrate who decides whether the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the defendant - in other words, would a jury, properly instructed, be capable of delivering a guilty verdict.

Ms Jackson had advised prosecutors and the court that she'd require a lengthy hearing at the Magistrates' court to test the prosecution's case against her.  

She'd called more than 60 prosecution witnesses for attendance at court for cross examination.  

The Magistrates Court had blocked out 4 weeks for the committal and arrangements had been made for prosecution witnesses to attend.

Today, Ms Jackson changed her mind.

She decided she didn't want to cross examine any witnesses after all.

She entered a plea of not guilty to all charges but waived her right to a committal hearing and opted instead to head directly to the County Court for a trial.

She will appear before the County Court tomorrow for a directions hearing.

She remains on bail.

Jackson's situation differs from Ralph Blewitt's in Western Australia.

The WA legal system does not provide for a committal hearing of the evidence at the Magistrates Court prior to committal to the higher courts for trial.  In WA the "committal" is a routine or administrative function, not based on a judicial officer's decision as to whether a prima facie case has been made out against the defendant.

Ralph Blewitt's charges are before a Perth Magistrate again in late December.

Here's The Australian's outstanding court reporter Pia Akerman who was present for Ms Jackson's court appearance today.

Kathy Jackson heads straight to trial on theft, fraud charges

Kathy Jackson arrives at court. Picture: David Geraghty.
Kathy Jackson arrives at court. Picture: David Geraghty.

Kathy Jackson will proceed straight to trial on charges of theft and defrauding the Health Services Union, after suddenly waiving her right to cross-examine witnesses in a committal hearing.

Ms Jackson appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today on what was due to be the first day of a committal hearing probing allegations she misused hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal perks.

As the hearing was due to start, Ms Jackson’s barrister Marcus Pesman SC asked for more time for discussions with prosecutors.

Kathy Jackson kisses partner Michael Lawler as they arrive at the Magistrates court in Melbourne. Picture: AAP.
Kathy Jackson kisses partner Michael Lawler as they arrive at the Magistrates court in Melbourne. Picture: AAP.

After magistrate Simon Zebrowski adjourned for 45 minutes, prosecutor Mark Gibson told the court that the former national HSU secretary no longer wished to cross-examine all the witnesses.

“The matter will then be a straight hand-up brief,” he said.


Julie Bishop is a dangerous, lying, neglectful crook who has put Australia at risk through her knowing support for Islamists

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I've just been sent this clip from 7 news.  You think I'm a bit angry?  


It's apparently now "news" that Australian aid went to terrorists.

18 months ago I wrote both personally to BISHOP and to her department.

Request for comment from DFAT on new $60M plans to engage with IS-supporters Moro Islamic Liberation Front

I've just sent this note to the very responsive media people at DFAT.


I have a further query arising from material in that story.  
I refer to this publication from DFAT advising of its intention to provide $60M for further education in Mindanao.
The supporting material here Attachment: PATHWAYS Investment Design: Second draft [ZIP 2 MB] includes a document titled 
Annex B: Program Logic

The following narrative provides a discussion of the program logic that underpins the investment design for the Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao (PATHWAYS) program.


The central element of this approach is the engagement of the two core actors (the ARMM, specifically the DepEd-ARMM – on behalf of the GPH and the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) on behalf of the MILF) through a ‘twin pathway’ implementation arrangement. 

That document advises that DFAT will be engaging with the the Tarbiyyah, ie the Education Committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to work on the curriculum of the Madrassas associated with MILF.

A few weeks ago the Islamic State released material regarding its supporters and those who have pledged allegiance to it in The Philippines.   This 12 June report from the publication Threat Matrix refers:

‘Amaq News Agency, one of the Islamic State’s news outlets, has released a short infographic detailing the jihadist group’s operations and activities in the Philippines. The infographic is set up similar to those released for official Islamic State wilayats (provinces), which indicates the rising importance of the Philippines for the jihadist group.


The infographic (above) includes several important claims of the Islamic State in the Philippines, including how many groups have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and where these groups operate. Additionally, it claims 289 Filipino troops have been killed by Islamic State forces since April 2015, including 100 alone in April 2016. The Filipino government has heavily disputed these numbers.

While the infographic contains numbers from April 2015, it confirms the first official announcement of Filipino jihadist groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State occurred in January 2016. Videos and reports of groups pledging bayah (allegiance) have emerged since 2014, shortly after Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, claimed the creation of a caliphate. The video in January, however, was the first time the Islamic State publicly accepted these pledges.

A month later, the Islamic State’s Furat media released another video showing more groups pledging allegiance.  This includes Isnilon Hapilon, a US-designated terrorist, who heads the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). In an April issue of the Islamic State’s weekly newsletter Al Naba, the jihadist group said that Hapilon (called Abu Abdullah al Filipini, one of his noms de guerre, in the newsletter) has been appointed as emir of all Islamic State forces in the Philippines according to a translation from the SITE Intelligence Group.

His appointment seems likely as Hapilon is the senior most figure to have defected to the Islamic State in the Philippines. This also means that a formal leadership structure for the Islamic State is in place, exemplifying its expansion in the country. The latest infographic also shows more examples of expansion and gives credence to a formal leadership structure, as ‘Amaq claims that the Islamic State has 10 “fighting battalions” in the Philippines.

This number includes at least a portion or all of ASG, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Ansar Khilafah in the Philippines, Katibat Ansar al ShariaKatibat Marakah al Ansar, the Islamic State in LanaoJund al Tawhid (a former ASG battalion), Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad (a group formerly loyal to al Qaeda), and parts of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).


The Islamic State published this photo with the Arabic and apparently Tagalog caption noting the pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State from a group of MILF members.


Assuming the Islamic State photo is genuine and its announcement is factual - why are we engaging with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's Tarbiyyah committee when parts of that organisation have pledged Bay-ah or allegiance to the Islamic State?

Could I ask for a response by midday tomorrow please?


DFAT wants time to answer our query on Australian taxpayers pay $38M to fund Muslim education in a province claimed by the Islamic State


DFAT has acknowledged our note and asked for our deadline for an answer - I've suggested midday tomorrow as a reasonable period for DFAT to make enquiries.


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Thanks to Seeker of Truth for researching our funding to The Philippines island of Mindanao, a hotbed of Islamic traditional practices including the beheading of two Canadian hostages in the past few weeks.

We provide $38M for "Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)".   Why?  What do we get out of advancing Muslim education in Abu Sayyaf territory - now claimed as part of the Islamic State..


Given the way Islam is practiced in Mindanao and the relative impunity with which Abu Sayyaf operates it's reasonable to wonder what influence Abu Sayyaf and thus the Islamic State has on the madrassas and Islamic schools in Mindanao - which we are funding to the tune of $38M.  

A short time ago I sent this email to DFAT.

To the proper officer,
On 6 May 2015 the government's AusTender website announced that Cardno Emerging Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd had been awarded a $38M contract to provide "Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)".
Last week the Islamic State or Daesh announced that it had effective control of much or all of Mindinao and it proclaimed the island a wilayat or province of the Islamic State (or Caliphate/Khalifah) with the Muslim terrorist Insilon Hapilon appointed as the Emir of the province.
I have included media reports and links to the Islamic State claim of sovereignty over Mindanao below.
Islamic State also issued a call to Asian Islamists who cannot get to Iraq or Syria to go to Mindanao to join the Islamic State and to live under its Sharia.
I know we do not recognise the legitimacy of the Islamic State, let alone its claim to sovereignty over part of The Philippines.  However it would appear that large numbers of locals do.
Is the Australian Government aware of the Islamic State claim that Mindanao is part of the Caliphate? Is the DFAT funding for Muslim education in Mindanao affected?
What is the syllabus being taught in Mindanao through our $38M "Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)"?
Can the Australian Government reassure us that none of our money goes to the benefit of the Islamic State or or to advance its teachings, including those of its subsidiaries like Abu Sayyat?
Given the Abu Sayyaf/Islamic State influence in the province, is it wise for Australia to fund Muslim education given the widespread traditional Islamic practices and influence on the way Islam is practiced?
Kind regards,
Michael Smith

After months of buildup, which included pledges of loyalty from various local groups, the Islamic State has officially created a province in the Philippines. A newly released video from the region, which was produced in the same style as all other Islamic State provinces, offered confirmation of the new province.

The video begins by showing several “battalions” of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. This includes the Abu Dujana Battalion, Abu Khubaib Battalion, Jundallah Battalion, and the Abu Sadr Battalion. These battalions joined others from ASG, including Jund al TawhidAnsar al Sharia, and Marakah al Ansar in pledging bayah to the Islamic State. Additionally, some of ASG’s leadership, including overall leader Isnilon Hapilon (who is shown in the video), have pledged to the jihadist group.

Hapilon, a US-designated terrorist, was again confirmed as the leader of all of the Islamic State’s forces in the Philippines. In an April issue of the Islamic State’s weekly newsletter Al Naba, the jihadist group said that Hapilon, also known as Abu Abdullah al Filipini, had been appointed as emir. In a portion of the video featuring a Filipino fighter in Raqqah, Syria, he confirms the Al Naba report.

Hapilon is the senior most figure to have defected to the Islamic State in the Philippines. The video also confirms that a formal leadership structure for the Islamic State has indeed been put into place, exemplifying its expansion in the country. This was also seen earlier this month in an infographic released by the ‘Amaq News Agency, one of the jihadist group’s news outlets. The infographic included several important facts from the Islamic State in the Philippines, including the number of groups that have pledged allegiance and where they operate. (See Threat Matrix report, Islamic State details activity in the Philippines.)

CN ID CN1123382-A2
Agency Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australian Aid Program
Amendment Publish Date 6-May-2015 
Category Management advisory services
Contract Period 30-Mar-2015 to 30-Jun-2017 
Contract Value (AUD) $38,149,141.80 
Amendment Start Date 6-May-2015 
Description Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)
Parent CN CN1123382
Procurement Method Open tender
Confidentiality - Contract No 
Confidentiality - Outputs No 
Consultancy No

Supplier Details

Postal Address 501 Swanston St
Town/City Melbourne
Postcode 3000
State/Territory VIC
ABN 23 006 170 869

Michael Smith <bexleyborn@gmail.com>

3:29 AM (2 minutes ago)
to Media at DFAT
What a dreadful situation. $38M in Australian taxpayer money earmarked for Muslim education in a place where being Muslim means following the Islamic State.
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Compare Andrew Hastie MP's principled magnanimity with Turnbull's triumphalism

Good on you Andrew Hastie.

Yesterday Chairman Mal told us people who voted like him on changes to the Marriage Act apparently received different survey papers from those who voted no.

The Chairman and friends had a paper which also included a vote for Fairness.

It included a further vote for Commitment.

And a further vote for Love.

Turnbull's learnt nothing from leading the Republic campaign.

Now read Andrew Hastie's statement.

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Statement on the Marriage Postal Survey

The Australian people have voted decisively in the Marriage Postal Survey. There is a clear majority who support same-sex marriage. I congratulate the YES campaign on their victory. I know this result carries significant meaning for many Australians who have long campaigned for a change to the Marriage Act. Importantly, this result gives them both a legal and cultural mandate for change.

During the campaign, I argued in favour of retaining the current definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. I also voted NO in the Marriage Postal Survey, alongside 4,873, 987 Australians. I thank them for their support.

We now have the task of legislating same-sex marriage in the Australian Parliament. Out of respect for the Australian people, I will not be voting against the legislation to change the Marriage Act. Rather, as I have previously said on the public record, it is my intention to abstain because I cannot vote against my conscience. The outcome of the legislative change is assured: my abstention will not obstruct the passage of same-sex marriage.

I intend, however, to vote for subsequent amendments to the Marriage Act to protect people who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Freedom of religion, conscience and expression are foundational to our democratic tradition. Those with conscientious objections should enjoy the same protections as people who support same-sex marriage. This change in law should not compromise the freedom of the 4.87 million Australians who voted NO. 

That is why I will fight to have strong legislative protections for individuals and organisations. Of particular concern is the freedom of parents and faith-based schools to raise and educate children in accordance with their moral and religious convictions. It is my hope that my Coalition colleagues share the same commitment to securing the freedoms of conscience, expression, religion and parental rights for all Australians.