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Plebiscite 'a distraction' to WA election

AAP logoAAP 21/08/2016

Both sides of politics in Western Australia not only don't want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, they're worried it will prove a distraction one month before the state election.

Health Minister John Day said he expected Premier Colin Barnett would raise the matter with the prime minister.

"We would prefer the federal parliament to actually make a decision about the issue itself ... rather than going through what may well be quite a divisive debate in the community," Mr Day told reporters on Sunday.

Opposition spokesman Roger Cook agreed the timing was bad, with the plebiscite expected in February and the WA election following in March.

"What Malcolm Turnbull should have done, of course, is do what all modern leaders are doing, which is stepping forward and making the right decisions to legislate to put marriage equality in place," Mr Cook said.

"We don't need to spend $160 million of taxpayers money on a plebiscite which is only going to bring division and discontent."

West Australians are particularly election-fatigued, having endured the Canning by-election last year and earlier-than-usual campaigning for the state poll.

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