An unlikely new advocate.
Liberal MP Warren Entsch is a conservative Backbencher from Queensland.
The 64-year-old Liberal MP — a former farmer, real estate agent, crocodile hunter and member of the Australian air force — isn’t exactly known for his progressive politics.
Mr Entsch had previously criticised Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for bringing on a Labor bill on marriage equality, news.com.au reports.
But as Fairfax Media reports, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott asked Mr Ensch this week to deliver a private member’s bill on same-sex marriage for a vote later this year, Mr Entsch responded: “The time has come to put this to the test.”
News.com.au reports Mr Entsch has now spoken to numerous Labor MPs as well as Greens and independents about a possible bipartisan bill, which Fairfax revealed may be co-sponsored by Labor MP Graham Perrett if Mr Shorten’s push stalls in the Parliament.
While Mr Perrett appeared to have denied those claims in a tweet today, Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has since confirmed she has had discussions with Mr Entsch and Mr Perrett about backing a “tri-partisan bill”, Fairfax reports.
Mr Entsch has also said he plans to discuss the matter with Liberal colleagues, and has suggested his intention is to have a cross-party bill debated in the August parliamentary sittings.
“It’s just a matter of finalising it,” the Queensland MP told ABC Radio.