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$41.5 million postal marriage survey underspend must go into LGBTIQ mental health services: Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 18 Dec 2017

It has been revealed in the Government Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) that the marriage equality postal survey came in $41.5m under budget; this must now go towards mental health services for LGBTIQ people, the Australian Greens said today. 

“While we are all overjoyed about finally achieving marriage equality in Australia, this survey should never have happened in the first place and it was a huge outlay of tax payer money for an unnecessary exercise that hurt our LGBTIQ communities,” said Senator Janet Rice, the Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson.

“We now know for sure through MYEFO that the postal survey came in $41.5 million under budget, and we say that money must go towards mental health and support services for LGBTIQ people. 

“Many LGBTIQ people are still dealing with the impacts of the traumatic ordeal the Government has put them through. Mr Turnbull must now turn his attention to those that have been hurt by the survey and inject the $41.5 million into mental health and support services for LGBTIQ people and their families.

“We know that mental health services have received lots of request for support these past couple of months,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens mental health spokesperson. 

“The $41.5 million not spent on the postal survey could go a long way to repairing the damage caused by the survey. To have your basic rights put on trial by a national vote has had an erosive effect on vulnerable LGBTIQ people and it is time to put things right. 

“LGBTIQ people should never have had to deal with the whole country deciding whether or not they could have the same rights as everyone else, but now that the ordeal is over, we must offer them support”, Senator Siewert concluded. 

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