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The committee wishes to stress that the focus of this inquiry, as per the terms of reference, is not the legalisation of same-sex marriage, but rather to scrutinise the process that the government chose to undertake in order to reach the point where the national parliament would consider legislation on this matter.

The committee has approached this inquiry as a watching brief. Soon after the announcement of the postal survey, the committee held a number of public hearings speaking with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Electoral Commission and other agencies assisting to deliver the postal survey. The committee's overarching concern has been the treatment and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people throughout the postal survey.

Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter which outlines the administrative details of the inquiry. The remainder of the report is structured as follows:
- Chapter 2 describes the process leading to the postal vote;
- Chapter 3 focuses on the conduct of the survey;
- Chapter 4 examines the offensive and denigrating material produced and disseminated during the period leading up to, and during, the postal survey; and
- Chapter 5 draws together the committee's conclusions and recommendations.

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