The High Court rejected two separate challenges to the same-sex marriage postal survey on Thursday, allowing the government to go ahead with the controversial vote.
Both Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Australian Marriage Equality had challenged the legality of the vote. It was argued by both parties the government did not have the authority to provide $122 million to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to carry out the survey.
After the High Court announced the decision, Attorney-General George Brandis told the Senate “there is no legal impediment to a postal survey proceeding and all Australians having their say on this important social question”.
The printing of ballots began on Wednesday. The government has already spent $14 million on advertising, printing costs and staff wages.
The outcome of the postal survey will be announced at 11.30am on November 15.
If the result of the voluntary, non-binding survey indicates majority support for marriage equality, there still needs to be a vote in the House of Representatives.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he wants this issue solved by Christmas. The last parliamentary sitting day of the year is December 7, three months from today.
For Melbourne’s latest, subscribe to the Broadsheet newsletter.