Updated: 02/08/17 : 08:26:34
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World :: 'Profound shift' in Australian views on same sex marriage

Australians have considerably increased their support for same-sex marriage in the last decade, a report has found.

The wide-ranging survey found that 67% of women and 59% of men want to see same-sex marriage made legal in Australia.

In 2005, it was 43% of women and 32% of men, according to the annual survey of the same 17,000 people.

Report author Prof Roger Wilkins said it revealed a "very profound shift" in attitudes in the country.

"It is quite clear that community sentiment has shifted in favour of marriage equality," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Debate over legalising same-sex marriage has intensified in Australia this week amid speculation that a government MP may soon introduce a bill to parliament.

However, Australia's ruling conservative Coalition is split on the issue, and any push to legalise same-sex marriage is likely to encounter opposition.

Last year, a government push for Australians to vote on legalising same-sex marriage in a national plebiscite was blocked by the opposition and minor parties.

Opponents of the plebiscite did not necessarily oppose legalisation, but said the vote would be costly and fuel hate campaigns. They argued the issue should be put to a parliamentary vote.