By Ashleigh Fielding
A LARGE turnout of supporters braved the elements on Saturday to show their support for a ‘yes’ vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey at a rally at Albany’s Middleton Beach.
Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan, WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith, Greens member for the South West Diane Evers and member for Albany Peter Watson joined the rally and put aside their political differences, sharing the stage to add their support for a ‘yes’ vote.
Ms MacTiernan addressed the crowd and said the postal survey was all about equality.
“The people of Australia will say ‘yes’, we want equality,” she said.
“People don’t want to be living in the past.
“Australia has always been about equality, so let’s make sure we break down that last barrier to equality.”
Ms Evers encouraged people to support the campaign.
“As Alannah said, this should never have come to this point,” Ms Evers said.
“It’s not even a vote, it’s a survey; what a waste of money and what a waste of time.
“But, I think we are all determined to make sure we show a resounding ‘yes’.
“Down here on the South Coast and in O’Connor, we are pretty conservative, and they aren’t expecting much more than an equal vote, so let’s get out and show them what we really think.
“When you share your love, it doesn’t halve, it doubles, so let’s make sure we get back a ‘yes’.”
Senator Smith, who originally pushed for a free vote on same-sex marriage in Parliament, rather than a plebiscite or postal survey, highlighted the importance of putting aside differing political beliefs.
He reassured regional Liberal party voters that voting ‘yes’ was within conservative beliefs.
“It’s not often I get to share a stage with the Greens and Labor, but that demonstrates this isn’t about politics, it’s about people’s human stories,” he said.
“As a conservative, WA Liberal party senator, I say to Liberal party voters across Albany and the Great Southern that it is okay to vote ‘yes’, that standing up for equality before the law is a very sound conservative principle.
“Every Australian deserves the dignity and respect of their relationships.
“Voting ‘yes’ will be a vote for strong family values and equality before the law.
“I’m just hoping the people of O’ Connor deliver a resounding ‘yes’ vote, so every WA federal MP can go to Canberra and get this done.”
Event organiser Millie Reid was overwhelmed with the strong show of support at the rally.
“It was an incredible turnout given the atrocious weather,” she said.
“We were really impressed. We estimated about 200 people came down to the rally, which is just phenomenal.”