politics

There are so many better ways we could spend the same-sex marriage plebiscite funding.

This week, debate over the marriage equality plebiscite been raging across Australia.

Now, one man has highlighted the many ways in which the $158.4 million dollars of tax-payer money set aside for what has been touted as the country’s most expensive opinion poll of all time could alternatively be spent on.

Originally sharing the post in February, LGBTQI advocate and former government policy adviser Alastair Lawrie retweeted seven images in the colours of the rainbow flag to his personal account today.

They read:

“A marriage equality plebiscite would cost at least $154.8 million. That money could instead help resettle an extra 2,297 refugees from Syria & Iraq.”

We’ve got to say, that on its own seems like a pretty compelling way to spend the funds, but for the sake of a compelling argument, Sydney-based Lawrie continues.

Labor Party leader Bill Shorten has said his party will block the plebiscite. Source: Getty

"The $154.8 million cost of a marriage equality plebiscite would be enough to restore 2015-16 foreign aid funding to: Afghanistan... and sub-Saharan Africa... and Palestine... and Middle East & North Africa... and UNICEF".

Again, that seems a viable and considered alternative. But for those not so into the whole foreign aid thing, there's more.

"For the $154.8 million cost of a marriage equality plebiscite, the Turnbull Government could support an additional 1,975 postgraduate students".

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Oh, that would be nice! Anyone for another round of doctors or engineers, anyone?

Lawrie's alternatives to how much the plebiscite will cost. Post continues after gallery.

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"$154.8 million = 1 marriage equality plebiscite or 477 more registered nurses over four years".

Hey, nurses! Nurses are great. They do things like stitch people up, save lives and manage people's health (even that of politicians!). But if you're all like, "meh" about healthcare, there's always education.

"$154.8 million = 1 marriage equality plebiscite or 578 more teachers in public schools".

Now teachers, surely we can all agree, are a thing in short supply that we're always wanting more of, right?

Turnbull is just not stoked on this at all. Source: Getty

"If Turnbull and Morrison were serious about reducing Government 'debt & deficit', they wouldn't be wasting $154.8 million holding an unnecessary, inappropriate and divisive plebiscite on marriage equality".

Finally, if you're still on the fence, Lawrie - who has been engaged for six years and is still awaiting the right to marry his partner - raises one final compelling alternative use for the money.

"For the $154.8 million cost of a marriage equality plebiscite, the Turnbull Government could fund the Safe Schools Coalition... almost 20 times over."

And if that's not a better spend of the money, we really don't know what is.

Mamamia Out Loud on why the plebiscite is a terrible idea. Why can't the government just do its job?

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