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Same-sex survey 13-day roll out by Aussie Post

Friday, 08 September 2017
By Jake Nelson
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics will begin mailing out its postal survey on same-sex marriage next Tuesday after the High Court struck down legal challenges to the ballot’s validity. Ballots will be delivered before September 12.

The ABS had already commenced producing the 16 million ballots at Fuji Xerox Document Management prior to the High Court’s decision, to allow time for printing and drying of the large amounts of papers necessary. The statistician had also spent about $14 million before the ruling, a Senate hearing heard, with eight million of that going to an advertising campaign. “$8 million had already been spent on advertising and communication encouraging enrolment in the survey, with a mix of many different media including print,” an ABS spokesman told Print21.

Mailing of the forms to every eligible elector in Australia will begin on September 12th, and the reply paid responses will be due by November 7th. “It’s expected that all eligible Australians will receive a form in the mail by the 25th of September,” the spokesman said.

Mathias Cormann.

The Government estimated the total cost of the survey at approximately $122 million dollars. Matthias Cormann, Finance Minister and Acting Special Minister of State, does not believe there will be a cost overrun. “I am confident that we will be able to deliver the survey within the funding envelope that we have previously indicated,” he told media.

Cormann said he was pleased with the High Court’s decision to allow the ballot to go ahead, and encouraged voters to send in their forms as quickly as possible. “Every Australian, every individual Australian who is on the Electoral Roll and eligible to vote in an election will have the opportunity to have their say, whatever the reason for their view. We encourage them to express their view, to return the survey form that they will be receiving from the ABS swiftly.”

The form will ask only one question: Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? If a Yes vote is returned, the government will facilitate a private members’ bill to allow same-sex marriage by the end of the year.

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