Here’s an idea: maybe the government should invest the $20 million surplus in the postal survey budget in mental health services for LGBTQI people.
It’s what Greens leader Richard Di Natale is proposing to Malcolm Turnbull. He wrote to the Prime Minister calling on him to increase funding to organisations that have been struggling with funding since the dang postal survey.
“It’s time that the government acknowledges the harmful effects of the ‘no’ campaign on the LGBTIQ community,” he wrote, reports Fairfax.
“I urge you to immediately redirect these funds in support services for the LGBTIQ community, particularly for young people, to respond to the issues being experienced as a direct result of the government’s decision to undertake the postal survey.”
Last week, the postal survey sputtered into its conclusion after a wearying three months, returning a 61.6 percent vote in favour of legalising same-sex marriage. The result was great, but it was hard-earned, and mental health services struggled to cope with the demand.
LGBT telephone counselling service Switchboard saw a 25 percent spike in calls during the postal survey, while ReachOut Australia saw a 40 percent increase in calls from the queer community.
Meanwhile, the government has cancelled a sitting week to supposedly deal with the results of the postal survey and this ever-unfolding citizenship mess, to which Labor and the Greens are saying, “sure, Jan.”
Turnbull is running scared from the Parliament. If you can't run the Parliament, you can't run the country.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 20, 2017
The government is running scared. Scared that their right-wing agenda doesn’t have the support of the parliament, nor of the people. Bring on an election!
— Richard Di Natale (@RichardDiNatale) November 20, 2017
Image: Getty Images / James Alcock