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No alternative to plebiscite: Nationals

AAP logoAAP 13/10/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says there is no alternative to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, as he counselled against a split within the coalition over the issue.

Nationals MP George Christensen says the governing coalition would be under threat if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came up with an alternative to the doomed plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

"When you're breaking one of the fundamentals of the coalition deal you've obviously decided to break the coalition deal," the MP told Sky News on Wednesday.

"There would be some serious repercussions."

Mr Joyce said he had not spoken with Mr Christensen, but had some advice for all party members.

"I always think at the back of the (rugby) lineout or when you are working in a pub as a bouncer - don't make threats, have people understand clearly who you are," he said.

The deputy prime minister, who supports the existing marriage definition, said it was clear there was no "Plan B" when it came to the coalition's position on same-sex marriage.

"This (the plebiscite) is a decision that was taken to the Australian people," he said.

"Our Plan B is balance the books, build the dams, get inland rail going... keep our agricultural exports going - that is the plan."

Mr Joyce said getting rid of the coalition would mean handing government to Labor.

"I think that people clearly understand that the last thing we want in this nation is the same sort of administrative expertise we are seeing in South Australia - where lights went out and they couldn't get them going again. That is Labor in power," he said.

Mr Joyce described Labor leader Bill Shorten's argument against the plebiscite as "BS".

"If Bill Shorten was to stop playing politics ... if you truly support a change in the Marriage Act, then he knows exactly how to do it - you can do it by passing a plebiscite."

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