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Former Australian PM: postal vote is ‘worst economic decision made by any PM’

Former Australian PM: postal vote is ‘worst economic decision made by any PM’

Former Australian PM Bob Hawke

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke slammed the same-sex marriage postal vote as the ‘worst economic decision made by any Australian Prime Minister since federation [in 1901].’

He also believes the divisive and costly public opinion poll ‘cannot produce a decision’ because ‘it still requires a vote of the parliament.’

He added: ‘It costs 122 million bloody dollars!’

Bob Hawke was the Prime Minister of Australia from 1983 to 1991. He is the most successful Labor party leader in history, but at 87, he is also the oldest living ex-Prime Minister.

Former Liberal PM Tony Abbott (2013 to 2015) also weighed in on the debate, calling Hawke a ‘silly old bugger.’

Tony Abbott repeatedly obstructed gay marriage reform while in office.
Tony Abbott repeatedly obstructed gay marriage reform while in office.

Abbott is a strong advocate for the No campaign in the marriage equality debate, saying marriage should be left ‘undamaged.’ He also has a lesbian sister with kids, who he believes her kids would be better off with a straight couple.

‘I have a lot of respect for Bob Hawke’

He accused Hawke of suffering from memory loss: ‘I have a lot of respect for Bob Hawke as prime minister.

‘He was a good prime minister by Labor standards.

‘But some years ago, he called a pensioner who gave him a hard time in a shopping centre. I think the phrase he used was a “silly old bugger.”

‘I think it’s time Bob looked in the mirror, frankly,’ he told radio station 2GB.

Bob Hawke was talking during an appearance at the National Press Club.

He added: ‘Can you imagine a prime minister would make a decision in these stringent times, spending $122million on a process that can’t produce the result when you could do so much to reduce the gaps [in Aboriginal health and education]?

‘Without any question, it’s the worst economic decision made by any Australian prime minister,’ he said.

Australians have just over a month left to have their say on marriage equality and send their postal votes back.

Equality campaigners encourage Australians to send them back as soon as possible, so they don’t forget.

Australia’s same-sex marriage vote explained in 300 words