1. Turnbull says that a conscience vote on gay marriage is “likely”
Minister for Communication Malcolm Turnbull has said that is it “likely” the Coalition Government will hold a conscience vote on gay marriage before the next election, however that he is unsure as to whether it will be successful.
Speaking to Sky News this morning, Turnbull said: “People of the same sex can get married in Auckland and Wellington, Toronto and Ottawa and Vancouver, in New York and Los Angeles, and Baltimore, in Cape Town, but not Australia. It does start to look as if we’re the ones out of step.”
In related news, Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has announced that she will introduce a private member’s bill to legislate for same-sex marriage. According to Fairfax Media, Plibersek will introduce the bill on the condition that Prime Minister Tony Abbott allows his MPs a conscience vote.
Plibersek is also reportedly looking for a Liberal member to co-sponsor the bill, although Turnbull has denied possible involvement due to his position as a member of the cabinet.
The move follows Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who has introduced a private member’s bill into the Senate.
2. NSW is the country’s worst state for alcohol-related harm.
The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol has released their first ever scorecards, which grade Australian governments on alcohol-related harm minimisation strategies, including restrictions on alcohol advertising and transparent policing policies.
The governments were ranked as follows:
ACT – 57%
WA – 53%
TAS – 50%
VIC – 46%
NT – 41%
QLD – 39%
SA – 33%
NSW – 31%
Federal Government – 29%
The Federal Government’s low score was primarily driven by their decision to defund the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia.
3. Nelson Mandela’s body arrives at final resting place.
The body of Nelson Mandela has arrived at Mandela’s ancestral home for the former South African President’s state funeral, to be held today. The funeral, to be held in the village of Qunu, will incorporate both military ritual and the traditional rites of Mandela’s Thembu clan.
4. Chinese spacecraft lands on the moon
A Chinese spacecraft has landed on the moon in the world’s first “soft landing” since 1976. China now joins the US and the former Soviet Union as one of the three countries to manage the manoeuvre.
5. Julia Gillard’s house goes for $200,000 above reserve
The home of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been sold at auction for over $200,000 above the expected price. The house, in Altona in Melbourne’s western suburbs, was sold to Jai and Zheng Wang for $921,000, a sum well above the suburb’s median house price of $545,000.
6. Country Road comes under fire for all-white catalogue
Australian clothing retailer Country Road has come under fire for only using white models in its most recent catalogue.
The observation was made by Melbourne designer Richard Masso, who took to the company’s Facebook page to express his discontent, however his comments were deleted. While they issued an apology for deleting Masso’s comments, Country Road has failed to comment on the issue of racial diversity in their advertising.
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