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Labor Conference
Australia's freshly elected federal opposition leader, Bill Shorten has left the door open to bringing in a private member's bill to allow same-sex marriage when parliament sits.

Malcolm Turnbull has promised to legislate for a plebiscite to be held on the issue by the end of the year, but Labor says it's a waste of $160 million.

'I get to choose the words I use': Liberals dodge gay marriage vote questions
Senior Liberals Scott Morrison and Julie Bishop have repeatedly refused to answer questions about how they would vote on same-sex marriage legislation.

"Let's see what we do when we get back to parliament, but I remain completely committed to the view that the quickest and easiest way to deal with the debate on marriage equality is have a parliamentary vote," Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

Mr Turnbull, who is in favour of the law change, believes a successful national vote would ensure same-sex marriage laws sailed through parliament.

"I think Mr Turnbull needs to pick up one of the lessons from this election ... the more you stick to your own conscience and what you believe, the better this country will run."

Mr Shorten reiterated Labor's position that a national debate would bring out "destructive, homophobic arguments".

Some newly elected gay conservative candidates are still backing a plebiscite thinking that it will enable the people to "have their say" - however what they continue to forget is that the Howard Government did not ask the people when not amended the Marriage Act in the first place to exclude LGBTQIA couples in the first place.