A simple majority of votes - 50 per cent plus one vote - will determine the outcome of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
HOW WILL THE PLEBISCITE WORK?
Like a referendum and voting for elections, it will be a compulsory to vote. Pre-polling will be available. A simple majority of votes - 50 per cent plus one vote - will determine the outcome.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE BE ASKED?
Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?
WILL I GET FINED?
If you vote informally you won't get fined (but obviously your vote won't be counted).
However, if you send someone a text message or call them to influence their vote either way you'll cop a $1800 fine.
WHEN WILL IT BE HELD?
Saturday, February 11, 2017 subject to legislation clearing federal parliament.
The plebiscite must be held no more than 178 days after the day the legislation commences.
WILL THERE BE MONEY FOR BOTH SIDES TO ARGUE THEIR CASE?
There'll be a yes and no advertising committee, with $7.5 million provided to each side.
The committees will consist of 10 MPs - two government, one crossbench and two Labor. Five citizens will also be appointed by the attorney-general and special minister of state. Government members will chair each committee.
CAN YOU DONATE TO THE CAMPAIGN?
Each committee will set up a bank account in which you can donate up to $1500, tax deductible.
WHAT HAPPENS IF PEOPLE VOTE YES TO LEGALISE GAY MARRIAGE?
It won't be a self-executing plebiscite. First there'll be a public vote and then draft laws will be introduced to parliament to make the change happen.
If it's yes, the attorney-general will introduce amendments to the Marriage Act to give effect to that outcome as soon as a result is clear.
WHAT IF SOMEONE WANTS A RECOUNT?
You won't be able to order one but your local MP can. Usually the governor-general, the governor of a state, ACT chief minister or the administrator of the Northern Territory can ask for a recount. This won't apply.
WILL ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS BE SUSPENDED?
WILL I BE BOMBARDED WITH ADS?
Just like elections, you'll see ads from both sides. But there will be a blackout period on radio and TV at the end of the Wednesday before the polling day.
INTERESTING FACTS FROM THE BILL
Not legally binding: "The result of the plebiscite would not be legally binding on the parliament."
Intention: "If more than 50 per cent of people vote 'yes' in the plebiscite in support of same sex marriage, it is the intention of the government to introduce a Bill amending the Marriage Act 1961."
SOURCE: PLEBISCITE (SAME-SEX MARRIAGE) BILL 2016