Same sex couples can now get 'married' in Australia thanks to Evermore Pledge, a celebrant service. Gay couples would have very similar rights to those in a traditional marriage. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography
Same sex couples can now get 'married' in Australia thanks to Evermore Pledge, a celebrant service. Gay couples would have very similar rights to those in a traditional marriage. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography

Australian Bureau of Statistics to run ballot process

THE same agency responsible for the 2016 Census debacle will oversee a postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been handed the job of running the process, with ballot papers to be delivered to every Australian on the electoral roll from next month.

Votes must be returned by November 7 with a result due by November 25.

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Australians not already on the electoral roll will have until August 24 to register with the Australian Electoral Commission.

Even if the result of the poll is a resounding yes to marriage reform, parliament will have the final say on changing the legislation.

If the result indicates Australians want same-sex marriage, the parliament will vote on it.

However, Ben Norris can see history repeating itself.

"We could spend the $122 million for a postal vote and the government might not do anything about (it)," Norris said.

"Our last plebiscite was in 1977 when we changed the National Anthem but it was seven years (1984) before we did anything about it. The same thing could happen."