The only Greens party member left in the Australian Capital Territory government, Shane Rattenbury (pictured), has declared his support for Labor and announced a new direction for marriage equality in the territory.
After the October 20 ACT election, the Greens were reduced from three members to one. Earlier today, Rattenbury formally announced his support for the ALP, allowing them to form a minority government in the ACT for the next four years.
In a press conference, Rattenbury highlighted marriage equality as an issue that he would continue to fight for and said he would work with Labor to form a new plan and direction.
He referred to a recent attempt in Tasmania to pass marriage legislation and said that he believed the ACT could successfully do the same.
“What it will require is to establish an entirely new system… and a new model. I think the Commonwealth Parliament has been incredibly shortsighted to block marriage equality in Australia. It’s all about decency, equality and it’s about respect,” he said.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be doing this in modern Australia, a majority of the Australian community supports this and it’s time for parliamentarians caught up to where the public is at on this issue.”
Rattenbury has previously declared his support for national marriage equality and within the ACT.
“The best place for equal marriage law is at the federal level so that the same scheme can apply in all states and territories,” he said.
“I believe the ACT Assembly can send a clear message that this jurisdiction wants the federal Parliament to change the laws. I am hopeful we will pass the [marriage equality] motion and add this Parliament’s voice to the ongoing community campaign.”