Australia's new opposition leader Tony Abbott gives a speech during the Australia-Israel Leadership Forum in central Sydney December 3, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz (AUSTRALIA POLITICS ENVIRONMENT) - RTXRE74
Australia's new opposition leader Tony Abbott gives a speech during the Australia-Israel Leadership Forum in central Sydney, December 3, 2009. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned his successor Malcolm Turnbull about the free vote on same-sex marriage in parliament. The former urged Turnbull to keep the faith of Australian people by honouring his commitment to same-sex marriage plebiscite.

Abbot said neglecting the plebiscite on same-sex marriage means breaking Turnbull’s promise during the elections. For the former prime minister, it is a key election pledge and Australians are counting on it.

Abbot has recalled that the current Australian leader has made it clear during the election period that that the marriage law would only change by way of people’s plebiscite. It should not be altered in any way based on the free vote of the parliament.

The 28th Australian prime minister is sure that Turnbull is a man of his word. “I’m sure he’ll honour that commitment. This isn’t about same-sex marriage, it’s about keeping faith with the people,” he told Fairfax Media.

Former cabinet minister Eric Abetz has supported the claim of Abbott. He believes that Turnbull has made it crystal clear that the government's promise is for a plebiscite or nothing."This position enjoys overwhelming support and most colleagues see this as an unhelpful distraction," he said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has urged Turnbull to get on with the issue. He wants the prime minister to support a free vote on same-sex marriage.

Turnbull maintains that no change has been made with Coalition’s policy on same-sex marriage. The prime minister personally supports the issue, but it has been dormant since 2016.

Australians for Equality director Tiernan Brady said Australians are for marriage equality. He thinks that the campaign on same-sex marriage will be the biggest and most expensive of its kind to be launched in the land down under. It is said to focus on "changing the law to reflect Australian values."

Brady has assured Australians that the move to legalise same-sex marriage in the country will push through. An advertisement campaign will be held to support the issue and it will centre on the idea that politicians need to do their jobs and vote on the issue.

Australia is included in the top 10 countries in the world that support equality in marriage. Over 65 percent of the population in Australia is in favour of marriage equality. In relation to this, Brady has expressed his confidence that people in Australia are not unsure nor not a little in favour, but they are for it.

However, Labour and other parties oppose the same sex same marriage plebiscite because the outcome, they say, wouldn't be binding on members of parliament and would only be a waste of taxpayers’ money. Several Coalition members will still vote with their conscience.