Bill Shorten has announced via Twitter he will move a private member’s bill on Monday, to introduce same-sex marriage.
The bill will be seconded by Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek, who pushed for a private members bill on the issue in early 2014.
Both Shorten and Plibersek voted in favour of marriage equality when it was put to Parliament years ago.
“The time has well and truly come for the Parliament to debate marriage equality,” said Mr Shorten in a statement.
“Our current law excludes some individuals – and to me, that is unacceptable.
“It says to them: your relationships are not equally valued by the state, your love is less equal under the law."
The move comes after Ireland voted in favour of marriage equality, with critics claiming Shorten’s move is more about the Opposition Leader than legalising same-sex marriage.
“This is about survival for Bill, this is not about marriage equality,” Liberal MP Warren Entsch said last night, claiming he was “profoundly disappointed.”
Entsch has been working to gain support from Coalition members, according to The Australian, and was hoping to get legislation through with bi-partisan support, to fast-track the process.
When the private members bill is put forward on Monday by Shorten, it will be left in the Liberals hands as Labor don’t have the numbers in the House of Representatives to force a vote.
The Australian is predicting the government will put the Opposition Leader’s bill to a selection committee and delay the decision until debate over the budget subsides.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last week Australia was behind many other western nations in regards to legalising same-sex marriage.
“I’m confident the matter will be dealt with in the course of this year and of course, we obviously need a bill. There is a change in sentiment all the time,” he said.
“I have never seen a social issue which has changed attitudes as rapidly as this one. So my feeling is that it is very likely to pass.”