Conservatives critical of Andrews Government’s plebiscite preferential treatment

Australian Conservatives (Victoria) MLC Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins has expressed her dismay at the Premier’s state funding announcement in relation to the marriage plebiscite.

The Andrews government announced on Sunday that it would spend a further $500,000 on pro same-sex marriage agencies such as Switchboard Victoria, Drummond Street, and Headspace. This is in addition to $500,000 provided in June and $500,000 in Sept 2016.

The government have also pledged $15 million to building a Pride Centre in Melbourne, part of a total of $29 million for LGBTI services in this year’s budget.

Dr Carling-Jenkins said: “This reflects on Daniel Andrews’ belief that the only people affected by this debate are people who will be voting ‘yes’. To only fund services for one side of the debate is to dismiss and ignore the bullying, harassment, assault, and threats that people with differing opinions have experienced.”

“I believe that Victorians are respectful, mature and strong enough to have civil and reasonable discussions about this very important issue. If any resources are to be given from the state government, they should be given equally to both sides – after all, isn’t this about equality?”

“At a time where many vital services in Victoria are struggling to secure funding, it is hard to justify how so much of taxpayers’ money can be dedicated to the loud minority at the expense of so many others. “