The Australian Bureau of Statistics released updated figures today, with 78.5 per cent of Australians now estimated to have returned their postal survey forms.

The increase of 300,000 means that only around 1 in 5 of those eligible haven’t returned their forms, and indicates that the final count could end up over 80 per cent.

The last option for those with unreturned forms is to deliver them directly to an ABS drop-off centre, with the centres having closed at 4:30pm in most eastern states.

Today is the last day of the postal survey period, with the final result of the survey to be revealed at 10am next Wednesday November 15.

“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,” said The Equality Campaign’s Anna Brown.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Alex Greenwich, who recently spoke with the Star Observer about his experiences on the campaign, said that the wait for the result to be revealed will be nerve-wracking for the LGBTI community.

“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,” he said.

Greenwich said the campaign’s attention must 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,” Greenwich concluded.

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