Labour hopeful for Australian gay marriage rights

By Ripeka Timutimu

Labour MP Louisa Wall is hopeful the new incoming PM of Australia will guarantee marriage rights for the Australian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Malcolm Turnbull defeated Tony Abbott 54-44 in a Liberal Party leadership ballot late last night.

Miss Wall, who was instrumental in pushing the gay marriage bill through New Zealand Parliament says Mr Turnbull’s views are more progressive than Mr Abbott, who was staunchly anti-gay marriage.

She says, “He is a supporter of people’s rights to be who they are, and he was instrumental with Julia Gillard in sponsoring research into homophobia in sport.”

Areti Metuamate, a political commentator based in Australia says the gay marriage bill could gain real traction with Turnbull coming in as Prime Minister, “We now have the leader of the Liberals (Turnbull) supportive of gay marriage, and also the leader of the opposition supportive of the bill, so we could see some real movement on it.”

New Zealand PM John Key sent a text to Mr Abbott this morning, but he wouldn’t say whether or not he was disappointed that Mr Abbott was rolled by his party, “In the end the leadership of the Liberal party is a matter for Liberal MP’s, it’s not for me to intersect myself into that process, politics is a brutal business.”

Mr Turnbull will become the nation's 29th prime minister in a ceremony later today.