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November 18, 2010

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has responded to community interest and will include a question on gay marriage during his next survey of local issues across the region.

Mr Chester said he would add a question on the topic when he distributes his next electorate-wide survey, early in 2011.

“While there is a lot of public discussion at the moment, it must be stressed that there is no legislation before the Parliament relating to this issue,” Mr Chester said.

“The notice of motion put forward by the Greens was more general in nature and was not a Private Members Bill on the issue.

“I have carried out surveys in the past and speak to a large number of people on a wide variety of issues every day and the subject of gay marriage has not attracted a lot of attention. There are a lot of other issues like community violence, education concerns, shortage of doctors and jobs for young people which are raised with me on a constant basis.

“I have received minimal comments on gay marriage in the past three years and the correspondence I have received in recent weeks has been divided on the issue.

“I recognise that there are passionately-held views on both sides of the debate. I have given an undertaking to ask a specific question on the topic when I distribute my next electorate-wide survey, planned for early 2011.”

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