PN: We’ll move on to an entirely different topic altogether. Where do you stand on same-sex marriage?
CB: First can I say that’s a very personal issue to people. It’s not something I think should be dominated by party politics. With respect to my own views, I think the issue is complicated. I have always taken the view that marriage is a very unique institution, a special institution within our community and I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I know many people will have a disagreement with that. I don’t see it as an equality argument. With respect to gay and lesbian couples I’ve always supported civil unions. I have always supported removing any form of discrimination that may take place and my view is people are free to live their life as they wish. But I don’t believe in changing the nature of marriage itself.
PN: But it’s fair to say you think it (should be) a conscience vote?
CB: Yes, it should be an individual free or conscience vote. And I certainly recognise that more people in the community are probably coming down in support of gay marriage. I just have an attitude that marriage is a unique institution. It’s one of the foundations of our society, and in saying that I don’t believe that is discriminatory at all against gay or lesbian couples. I think it is just a difference.
PN: We’ll agree to disagree on that one I guess, like a lot of people.
CB: Well I think there would be wide implications if change is made.