Australian Greens marriage equality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms is calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ditch the $160 million plebiscite after it was placed in the budget contingency fund.
"It's absurd that after harping on for years about a so-called budget emergency the Liberals are progressing with a $160 million plebiscite on marriage equality," Senator Simms said.
"Now for the first time we are seeing this costly plebiscite factored into the budget. Australians want marriage equality and they want to see this matter dealt with by the parliament.
"Mr Turnbull could easily inject $160 million back into the budget bottom line by dropping the plebiscite and allowing his members a free vote in the parliament. Public money should not be used to facilitate a hate campaign against the LGBTI community."