Joint doorstop interview with Craig Laundy MP, NSW

Share
Latest News, Transcripts
21686078_10154603112696467_1755086548475559264_n

Subjects: Same-sex marriage

JOURNALIST:

I might start with you Kelly, can I get a quick reaction from you about last week’s events?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well look, I’m absolutely shocked and horrified that we would see an act of violence on anyone as part of this particular campaign and I deplore it, and I think it’s absolutely despicable. But what I would say is that most people are not extremists, they’re not violent, whether they be on the yes side or the no side. We can’t extrapolate from this extreme and deplorable behaviour and categorise a whole heap of people in this way. Most Australians are very reasoned and civilised and respectful in having this important debate and I want to encourage those voices that are reasonable and sensible in coming out and communicating your view, whether it’s the yes or the no case. I’m, of course, for the yes case. I believe that strong and committed relationships are critical to the fabric of our society and that marriage strengthens those relationships. That’s why I’m advocating for a change to the marriage act because I believe that more of those relationships that we can have will only strengthen our society.

JOURNALIST:

Cool. Thanks Kelly. Craig, you’re obviously in the no camp. What was your reaction when you heard of the news that came out of Hobart last night?

CRAIG LAUNDY:

Look, what happened to Tony Abbott last night, put simply, was assault. And whoever was responsible should be, the police should catch up with them and charge them with assault. There is no place for violence in our society, irrespective of what the background circumstances may be, and there should be zero tolerance for it. I don’t think the person involved did themselves a great service at all and I hope they are caught up with and prosecuted. I don’t think they did their cause a great service. This is a country where we may have differences of opinions at times, however, we’re built off the back of mutual respect and that person has quite clearly breached that massively, should be caught up by the police. I suspect with CCTV being what it is today that will happen, and I hope he is charged and prosecuted accordingly.

JOURNALIST:

What does it mean for the no campaign?

CRAIG LAUNDY:

Look, I think irrespective on both sides, there are people in this debate who have done things that have no place in modern Australia. Be it what happened last night or other instances on the other side of the fence. There are extremities on both sides of the debate. However the overwhelming majority of Australians, as with most things, sit in the sensible 99 per cent of the mix and can conduct themselves accordingly. I have a personal opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman, I have been advocating that openly in my community, I’ve never hidden from that. I respect that others disagree with my opinion and they are entitled to their opinion. However the discussions we have are always conducted in good faith and respect for each other.

KELLY O’DWYER:

And that’s why you and I can always have a good debate about this because while we have a different point of view on this question, it’s always a respectful conversation…

CRAIG LAUNDY:

And we cancel each other out!

KELLY O’DWYER:

…and that’s what it should be. And that’s we’ve said all along, we’ve said Australians can conduct very a respectful conversation about this issue. Most people know what their own personal view is on this. We’re encouraging people to get out and to have their say and to make their view known through the postal plebiscite. But what one extremist does in these circumstances should not colour the view of any particular case because, as Craig has said, there are extremists on both sides of the debate. It is not acceptable behaviour at all but most people are very respectful …

JOURNALIST:

Inevitably, people might use it as artillery. What would you say to those people?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well I would say you cannot extrapolate from the extreme behaviour, the violent behaviour of one individual, which is deplorable. You cannot extrapolate that and say that that is the behaviour of all people who have a particular point of view because it simply is not. Those people who advocate for the yes case, and I’m one of them who advocates for the yes case, respect that there are other people who have got different views on this issue. I advocate for the yes case because I believe in strong and committed relationships and that marriage strengthens those relationships and that extending marriage to same-sex committed couples will simply enrich and strengthen the fabric of our society. So it is absolutely not correct to say that the behaviour of one extreme individual should colour the perception of the whole group.

JOURNALIST:

Just lastly for you, Craig, do you still agree with the idea of it going to a postal survey rather than a vote in through Parliament?

CRAIG LAUNDY:

Yes, I took, as a marginal seat holder, I know, I guess, as anyone in Federal Parliament the importance of keeping election commitments. We took a clear election commitment to let the people have a say. It is extremely popular in my electorate from the feedback I’ve got, especially as it’s intensified over the last couple of months. This is a major social change, not a parliamentary change, a social change. And people in my neck of the woods want their say. The overwhelming majority are conducting themselves in a manner and a fashion which you would expect and that’s consistent with respecting each other and as the vote draws to a close, they’ll tally the results and we’ll work out what we do off the back end of that. If the law changes, we’ll vote for that. If the popular vote is that they don’t want it to change, there won’t be any change to the law.