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Joyce's ideas for gay marriage 'Plan B'

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Jennifer Rajca

For those looking for the government's Plan B to achieve marriage equality, Barnaby Joyce has some ideas - and they involve dams and rail lines.

A day after Labor effectively killed off any chance of a February plebiscite on same-sex marriage, the Nationals leader was resolute.

"It's doomed because Bill Shorten has said that he's decided that he's more important than the Australian people," Mr Joyce told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"If Mr Shorten wants to see a change in the Marriage Act then it's quite simple - support the plebisicte."

Amid calls from the opposition for Malcolm Turnbull to allow a free vote on the issue in parliament, Mr Joyce noted people are trying to come up with a so-called Plan B.

"Plan B is straighten out the economy. Plan B is build dams. Plan B is to make sure that we get the inland rail built," he said.

"Plan B is to make sure we seal the third road across our nation from Laverton to Winton. Plan B is to make sure that people have a strong economy so we can pay for the health and education for the future."

Mr Joyce insisted the coalition will deliver on the promise it took to the people at the July election, to hold a plebiscite.

He has also counselled his Nationals colleague Andrew Broad, who has threatened to withdraw support for the government should it allow a free vote in this term of parliament.

"I've had a very courteous discussion with Andrew," Mr Joyce said.

"I don't think anyone in Mallee, certainly not in New England or not in Lyne or not in the Riverina want to see a Labor Party government.

"We had a look at one of those in the last fortnight in South Australia. The lights went out, people were stuck in lifts."

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