Residents in the Gilmore electorate on the New South Wales South Coast have voted in support of same sex marriage, according to the results of a local survey.
Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis asked voters in her ‘Big Survey’ to have their say on whether they agreed with legislative change on the issue.
More than 2500 people answered and returned the survey, with 1552 saying they support marriage equality and 893 expressing opposition.
There was also 65 responses from people who were undecided on the issue.
Ms Sudmalis has admitted the results contradict her assumptions about the Gilmore electorate, but hadn’t quite changed her mind.
“And I do still believe that there’s a number of people who have the same view that they wouldn’t approve of it, but it’s difficult because there was such a small response rate,” Ms Sudmalis said.
“If it had of been a 10 per cent response rate I would have felt that the result was a lot clearer.
“It’s not a big enough swing of numbers to say categorically this is absolutely what the electorate wants,” she said.
Ms Sudmalis said it was clear however, that people want their voices to be heard on the issue.
“It justifies the fact that people really want to have their own say on this.”
“So I’m very pleased that all of the discussions we had about this in Canberra, let to the plebiscite concept being put forward to be putting that whole issue to the Australian people,” Ms Sudmalis said.
The Big Survey also asked the electorate about their view of the most important issues for the region.
Ms Sudmalis said improving local jobs and health care were identified as priorities while issues of crime, safety and drug use were also common concerns.