‘Palace letters’ reveal the palace’s fingerprints on the dismissal of the Whitlam government

Independent Australia

Chris Wallace, University of Canberra

The “palace letters” show the Australian Constitution’s susceptibility to self-interested behaviour by individual vice-regal representatives. They also reveal the vulnerability of Australian governments to secret destabilisation by proxy by the Crown.

They reveal a governor-general, fearing his own dismissal, succumbing to moral hazard, and the British monarch’s private secretary encouraging him in the idea that a double dissolution was legitimate in the event a government could not get its budget bills passed.

The letters confirm the worst fears of those who viewed Governor-General Sir John Kerr’s sacking of the Whitlam government as a constitutional coup. They reveal Kerr shortened by at most a mere three months the resolution of the crisis created by the conservative Malcolm Fraser-led opposition’s refusal to pass the government’s budget bills, compared to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s own timetable shared with Kerr.

The correspondence shows Kerr was privy to Whitlam’s plan to hold a double-dissolution election in February 1976 if all other avenues, including a half-Senate election, failed to secure passage of the budget beforehand. Whitlam candidly told Kerr he would be replaced as governor-general if he obstructed that plan. This introduced the element of moral hazard that saw Kerr take a reckless and self-interested route in ending the crisis rather than the steadier one privately put to him by Whitlam – one that Kerr could have, had he chosen, quite properly facilitated.

Crucially, the palace provided a specific nudge to Kerr in the direction of dismissing the government as a solution. It did so by highlighting one expert’s view that Kerr could secure an election while saving his own position as governor-general.

The palace provided a specific nudge to Kerr on dismissing the government. AAP/EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

A September 24 1975 letter from the queen’s private secretary, Sir Martin Charteris, to Kerr pointed him to Canadian constitutional law expert Eugene Forsey’s opinion that:

[…] if supply is refused this always makes it constitutionally proper to grant a dissolution.

In such correspondence, the queen’s private secretary is understood as speaking for the queen herself. As such, this could be interpreted as the monarch providing not just comfort but actual encouragement to the governor-general in his sacking of the government.

By adding his point about Forsey as a handwritten postscript to the letter, Charteris created a degree of ambiguity on this score, giving rise to a potential argument that it was Charteris’s personal view and not that of the queen.


Read more: ‘Palace letters’ show the queen did not advise, or encourage, Kerr to sack Whitlam government


But this should be read in the context of the overall correspondence in the year leading up to The Dismissal. In these letters, Kerr repeatedly canvasses the opposition’s potential blocking of supply, the likely resulting constitutional crisis and his difficulties in that context. There is, notably, no counterveiling call from the palace to let the legitimately elected prime minister see his plan through, even though Kerr had conveyed Whitlam’s plan to the palace.

 

In a crucial letter to Charteris on September 30, Kerr outlined Whitlam’s privately proposed electoral path to a resolution.

In the event the opposition continued to block the budget bills, Whitlam wanted to hold a half-Senate election. After that the government would again put the budget bills to the Senate. Should the opposition continue to block them, Whitlam planned a double-dissolution election. Kerr relayed to Charteris Whitlam’s view that it “could not take place until February 1976”.

Why didn’t Kerr co-operate with Whitlam to implement this relatively speedy path to resolution of the crisis? The answer likely lies in Whitlam’s candour in telling Kerr he would ask the queen to replace Kerr should he not accede to the plan.

Since the letters through Charteris also confirm the queen’s intention, unreservedly, to accept Whitlam’s advice to sack Kerr should she be asked to do so, Kerr knew this threat to be real and increasingly immediate.

The question is, since the queen made clear through Charteris she would uphold Australia’s constitutional convention that the monarch follow the prime minister’s advice, why would her representative, Kerr, not simply do the same with regard to Whitlam’s plans for the crisis’s resolution?


Read more: The big reveal: Jenny Hocking on what the ‘palace letters’ may tell us, finally, about The Dismissal


This is the note missing from the palace side of the correspondence – an absence against which Charteris’s handwritten postscript pointing Kerr to the Forsey opinion that “dissolution” was a legitimate option when governments fail to get their money bills passed is stark.

Forsey was later a strong public supporter of Kerr’s sacking of the Whitlam government. No wonder the palace fought to stop these letters being released.

Chris Wallace, Associate Professor, 50/50 By 2030 Foundation, Faculty of Business Government & Law, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

‘Volcanic’: Evidence of Queen’s involvement in the 1975 dismissal uncovered

Representatives of the British government flew to Australia in the lead-up to the 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam government to meet with the then governor-general, casting further doubt on the accepted narrative that London officials did not play an active role in Australia’s most significant constitutional crisis.

Historian Jenny Hocking discovered files in the British archives showing Sir Michael Palliser, the newly appointed permanent under-secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, arrived in Canberra a month before the dismissal and held a joint meeting with Sir John Kerr and the British High Commissioner, Sir Morrice James, just as the Senate was blocking supply.

Sir Michael later reported back to London that Sir John “could be relied upon”.

“What is in those files is, to my mind, volcanic,” Professor Hocking, a research professor with the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University, told Fairfax Media.

“These are extraordinary materials indicating that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British High Commission are in discussion about the possibility of interfering in domestic Australian politics, specifically in the half Senate election, in the lead-up to November 1975.”

Although there is no detailed report on the meeting nor any correspondence relating to it, there is a draft itinerary to show this “planned contact between the head of the Foreign Commonwealth Office and the Queen’s representative in Australia on such a significant date in our political history,” Professor Hocking said.

Immediately after the meeting Sir John Kerr cancelled a planned international trip to remain in Australia.

Professor Hocking believes the Queen knew what might happen to the government well before it happened – unlike Whitlam, who was caught completely off-guard by the actions of November 11, 1975.

Although Sir John’s role in updating the Queen and the British government about the events is well known, what remains unclear is how active government and royal players in London were in trying to prevent the 1975 half Senate election from being called.

“Kerr met with the British High Commission within days of the dismissal and communicated to him had dismissed the government in order to protect the Queen’s position. That should have no place in the governor-general’s thinking,” Professor Hocking said ahead of Wednesday’s release of a new edition of her book, The Dismissal Dossier, which contains the revelation of the meeting pointing to Britain’s involvement in the dismissal.

“Prior to 1986 and the passage of the Australia Act there was a perception that the Australian states were in a quasi colonial relationship in which Britain could exercise its own interests. It acted to protect those interests in approaching the government-general. It’s an extraordinary development.”

Professor Hocking is also waiting for a Federal Court judgement on her application to have access to what are known as the ‘Palace letters’, the correspondence between Sir John Kerr and Buckingham Palace which she believes will – finally – reveal just what the Palace knew of Sir John’s intentions in the lead-up to the dismissal.

The letters are held by the National Archives of Australia which has deemed them “personal” – rather than official – correspondence that will not be released until 2027. They may never be released if Buckingham Palace decides to exercise its power of veto over their release.

Professor Hocking says a joint Australian-British inquiry into the events leading up to the dismissal, which remains Australia’s greatest constitutional crisis, is needed.

“We need to know what happened at this key time in our history but we also need to look forward to the implications of this for the way we might construct the powers of a head of state when we become a republic,” Professor Hocking said.

Next month marks the 42nd anniversary of the dismissal.


Further evidence of Queen’s involvement in the 1975 dismissal uncovered.

Published by Sydney Morning Herald, O

Read the Original Article

 

 

An Australian republic ‘could benefit Aborigines’

A leading Australian academic and Aboriginal activist has supported a renewed campaign for Australia to become a republic if it recognises the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander citizens and gives them more political representation.

Professor Jakelin Troy, the director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research at the University of Sydney, said she “absolutely” supported the notion of Australia becoming a republic but that any new system of governance should correctly recognise that Aboriginal Australians initially owned the country.

“A republic should include more representation in the parliament and a set of rights equivalent to treaty rights enshrined in law so that Aboriginal people don’t have to continue fighting,” Troy said.

Australia remains a constitutional monarchy and has been subjected to British rule since it was colonised upon the arrival of Britain’s First Fleet in Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788.

The fleet’s arrival date is widely celebrated in the country with an annual public holiday called Australia Day, but many Aboriginal people mourn the occasion as “Invasion Day”.

Read The Complete Article

‘We want a republic’: Australia’s states and territory leaders are united

State and territory leaders unanimously back Australia becoming a republic, meaning there is total support across the top two tiers of government for an Australian head of state.

However, division remains over when the switch should be made, even as the push grows for the process to start in 2020.

As part of a campaign by the Australian Republican Movement, seven of the eight leaders signed a declaration supporting the end of the constitutional monarchy.

The declaration posed the simple proposition that “Australia should have an Australian head of state”.

Read the complete article

Bill Shorten says the republic debate can’t wait for the Queen

Labor leader Bill Shorten has urged the Prime Minister to break the shackles of monarchists in his government and lead the push for Australia to become a republic.

The call comes after all of the state and territory leaders expressed support for a republic amid a push for a plebiscite for an Australian head of state by 2020.   
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to work together with him on an Australian republic.

Mr Shorten is expected to use his Australia Day address in Melbourne on Tuesday to call for Malcolm Turnbull to drop his insistence that constitutional change is only possible after the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

Seven of the eight state and territory leaders have signed a declaration by the Australian Republic Movement calling for an Australian head of state. WA premier Colin Barnett did not sign the declaration but confirmed he, too, supported a republic.

Read the complete Article

Long live King Charles? An Australian republic is in Turnbull’s hands for now

The first time a British royal came to visit Australia he was shot. Prince Alfred survived the assassination attempt in 1868 and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital was named in his honour.

It was an inauspicious beginning to royal tours of Australia but a century and a half later the nation is still constitutionally wedded to the British monarchy. Prince Charles – the future King of Australia – finished, on Sunday, his 15th visit to the country. While there have been no assassination attempts, nor has there been the outpouring of adoration that marked the Queen’s inaugural visit in 1954.

Why is Australia still attached to the monarchy?

read the article by Benjamen T. Jones at The Conversation

Published as: Long live King Charles? An Australian republic is in Turnbull’s hands for now

A royal reminder of The Dismissal’s impact

The timing of Prince Charles and Camilla’s visit to Australia was perhaps unfortunate. Just as some were applauding the royalty, others were remembering the vice-regal sacking of our PM 40 years earlier, writes Mungo MacCallum.

Charles and Camilla wafted into Australia last week, to be greeted by rapturous applause by the usual suspects.

As the ageing heir and his second wife preened and postured for the well-drilled spectators the royalists gushed, led by their self-appointed leader David Flint – a comedic courtier whose silliness is only exceeded by his vanity.

But there were those who noted that the time was perhaps unfortunate, their arrival in Canberra coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the vice-regal sacking of the Australian prime minster, Gough Whitlam.

It is natural, as well as fashionable, to say that this (though not, it appears, the monarchical system) is now history; we have moved on. And indeed, many have. But there are some who will not forget the momentous events of November 11, and continue to try to find how and why such an upheaval in the normally stable Westminster model could have been so dramatically disturbed.

Read the Article at the ABC by Mungo MacCallum

Published as: A royal reminder of The Dismissal’s impact

A Message from the Chair of the ARM – Peter FitzSimons

From Peter FitzSimons – Chair Australian Republican Movement

As you may know as a progressive Australian, I have taken over as Chair of the Australian Republican Movement.

I recently did a speech on the Republic to the National Press Club, which sets out our position:

http://goo.gl/YBk4oF

If you don’t have time to watch it, here is a transcript of that speech:

http://goo.gl/Vfs5vq

While we have received a lot of good will since, we need more than that. We need membership.

Could you please encourage your strong network to join us on this link:

https://goo.gl/jVwReA

We are very, very grateful.

We want a new Australia, not reduced to finding our Heads of State from one family of aristocrats, living in a Palace in London.

We want an Australia where any one of us can be Head of State.

As to what kind, we will democratically decide.

My own model, however, can fit in a tweet.

Current system: PM chooses GG, asks Q.

New system: PM chooses GG asks Parliament.

And that is IT.

Nothing else need change, not even the name “Governor-General,” and we can remain also “The Commonwealth of Australia.”

Others prefer the Direct Election Model, and that too is very possible.

If that is the one we Australians democratically decide on, I will support it.

Please feel free to pass this email on, with my email address, to your network. We are doing this transparently, and have no need to hide anything.

We are very grateful for your support,

I am, you are, we are Australian, and we are on the move!

JOIN us!

Tks,

Peter
Sydney Morning Herald

Tweet: @Peter_Fitz

What might The Dismissal’s legacy mean for an Australian republic push?

On November 11, 1975, the governor-general, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the Labor government of Gough Whitlam. The government had been unable to get its budget through the Senate, in which it lacked a majority.

New revelations surrounding the lead-up to the Whitlam government’s dismissal in 1975 emphasise the ongoing significance of the events of four decades ago to politics today.

But is The Dismissal a moment that will become even more significant if the push for Australia to become a republic gains momentum?

On the 40th Anniversary of The Dismissal, read the full article at TheConversation.com.au

Australia PM scraps knighthood honours, shows republican colours

Australia’s pro-republic Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday scrapped knights and dames from the nation’s honours system, less than a year after a furore sparked by the award of a knighthood to Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a staunch monarchist, reintroduced the antiquated honours in 2014, provoking criticism that he was out of touch with public sentiment. Abbott was ousted by Turnbull in a party coup in September.

The politically disastrous decision to give Prince Philip the nation’s highest honour, Knight of the Order of Australia, on Australia Day, has been cited as the beginning of the end for Abbott.

Read the Reuters Article Here

Royal succession laws changed as republic debate hits parliament again

THE republic debate returned to parliament today when Labor snuck in a plea for an Australian president while backing legislation giving women rights to royal succession.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten used discussion of anachronistic laws dictating who can become monarch to call for constitutional change — and to niggle Liberals on their own succession moves.

Australia is one of 16 “reals” in the Commonwealth whose governments have to agree to changing the succession laws so an older sister can take the British throne ahead of a younger brother.

At present only men can become monarch and women can only be crowned when there are no brothers available, as happened to Queen Elizabeth.

And they can’t marry Roman Catholics.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor backed the move to scrap laws going back 243 years.

(About time!)

Read the full Article at News.com.au

 

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

charlesHis Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland,  preparations for an activist monarchy prompted a backlash last night, as a new book, Charles: Heart of a King, revealed a dysfunctional and rivalrous court around him, compared by one former courtier to Wolf Hall.

Someone who has worked closely with him told The Independent on Sunday: “He is dying to having his go with the train set. He does cause concern with his outbursts. He’ll struggle to restrain himself.”

Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror said: “Spoilt, petty, self-pitying, meddling and a plonker – Prince Charles is a gift … for republicans.”

Paul Flynn, the Labour MP, said yesterday: “If he becomes the meddling monarch – and it’s almost certain that he will – he will precipitate a constitutional crisis.” Mr Flynn urged a referendum on whether the royal succession should skip a generation. “We’re into referendums: we might as well have a referendum on that and have some choice in the matter, rather than continue to have the head of the state on the principle of first past the bedpost.”

Here’s a question for Mr Flynn. Will all subjects have a say? Will you also include those in 16 Commonwealth Realms ? If not, why not?

Article from: The Independent on Sunday 

read more from: The Daily Mail & BBC News

Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Is it April Fool’s Day?

 Social media reacts to Prince Philip’s knighthood

Is it Australia Day – or April Fool’s Day?

That was a question being posed on social media after an early morning statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, (or as he officially known: His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Canadian Forces Decoration, Lord of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.) had been awarded a knight of the Order of Australia, the country’s highest honour.

Australia Day Honours. By a Brit – for a Brit: Tony Abbott, what on earth were you thinking? Not only do we have the indignity of a foreigner as our Head of State, the Highest Honour Australia has has been awarded to her husband — who is also a Brit.

Abolish the Constitutional Monarchy, Abolish the Knights & Dames – take  back the titles from those who received them after 14 February 1975 when Gough Whitlam established an Australian Honours system to replace British Honours for Australians. 

(And while we’re at it can we stop electing Brits as PM.)

Read the full article in the Canberra Times

As Scotland votes in independence referendum, it’s time to ask: should Australia become a republic?

An article at News .com .au asks the above question and has a pollShould Australia Become a republic?

SCOTS go to the polls today to vote on one simple question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Opinion polls suggest the referendum’s outcome will be tight.

If the “yes” case succeeds, it will be the first time Scotland has claimed its independence in more than 300 years.

Whatever the outcome, the push for Scottish independence has prompted many to wonder whether Australia ?will ever claim its own independence by becoming a republic.

Voters rejected a proposal for Australia to become a republic in a 1999 referendum, largely because the question tied the issue to a prescribed model for the election of a president.

So with Scottish voters being offered a plain and simple question, we’ve decided it’s time for readers to be offered a similarly straightforward question about our own country’s future.

Click Here to read the article and join the poll

Scottish referendum: Yes vote could leave Australia without head of state

 If the Scottish independence vote is successful the political and legal ramifications could flow to Australia, leaving it without a head of state, a constitutional expert has warned.

Associate Professor Iain Stewart from Macquarie University said a ‘Yes’ vote in Scotland could “set adrift” the Queen’s representatives in Australia.

“It could remove our head of state, the monarch, and thus, at least legally, make government in Australia impossible,” he said.

“We need to think ahead. We may need to move to a republic and soon.”

Scots will answer the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” in a referendum on September 18.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said supporters of Scottish independence were not “friends of freedom” or “friends of justice” in comments that were the strongest yet by a foreign leader on the independence debate.

Mr Abbott’s comments drew the ire of Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond, who said the Australian leader had “put his foot in it”.

Mr Salmond is the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which wants Scots to vote Yes in the September vote.

Revival of Scottish monarchy central to Australian implications

Professor Stewart said if Scotland regained its independence, a revival of the Scottish monarchy appeared to be a likely option.

A white paper released by the Scottish government late last year suggested the Queen would remain as an independent Scotland’s head of state.

That could fix an issue in Scotland, but create a serious one in Australia.

“The Yes camp still doesn’t seem to have clarified what would happen to the monarchy,” Professor Stewart said.

There would no longer be any sovereignty of the United Kingdom on which Australia could draw for its own head of state.

Professor Iain Stewart

“They may mean a revival of the Scottish monarchy, inviting Queen Elizabeth II to take it on, so that there would once again be a personal union of the crowns.”

Professor Stewart said that meant “a single person [would sit] on both thrones of the [separate] monarchies of Scotland and [the] remaining Britain – as there was for Scotland and England before the two countries united under a single throne in 1707”.

He said if that occurred, then “there would no longer be any sovereignty of the United Kingdom on which Australia could draw for its own head of state”.

“Whatever Queen Elizabeth II or her successor may do, they would not occupy a throne of the ‘United Kingdom’, which is how Australian constitutional law defines our head of state.”

Professor Stewart said that would “set adrift” the roles of Australia’s governor-general and the governors of each Australian state.

“This would affect the whole apparatus of the government,” he said.

Professor Stewart warned Scottish independence could also pose a challenge to the validity of the governor-general, who alone can summon Federal Parliament.

This could mean the Federal Government would only be able to continue until the end of the next parliamentary session.

If there was the sudden need for a general election, this would also be a problem because only the governor-general can formally call one.

The governor-general’s roles also include appointing all government ministers, justices of the High Court and other federal courts, and assenting to legislation passed by Federal Parliament.

“Still worse, when the present governor-general’s term expires (presumably in March 2019), we would not know of a ‘Queen’ to reappoint him or appoint a successor.”

‘Fancy legal footwork’ may be required

Professor Stewart said fixing the potential problem of sovereignty “would require some pretty fancy legal footwork” in Australia, and more broadly the consultation of the “Commonwealth realms”, the 16 countries, including Australia, that Queen Elizabeth II heads.

He said the complexity was demonstrated in the recent attempt to change royal succession laws that see royal sons take precedence over royal daughters.

Every Commonwealth realm has passed the law except Australia.

Because the Federal Government has no explicit power to legislate about the monarchy, it first had to wait until all six states had passed the changes. The bill was delayed in South Australia due to the March state election and was passed in that state in June.

Professor Stewart said it would be highly undesirable for issues surrounding Scottish independence to end up in the High Court of Australia or for legislation to fix the sovereignty issue to be delayed because the legislation required sovereign assent.

Separate Australian monarchy, republic possibilities

One solution may be to adopt legislation similar to what the British government may devise.

But Professor Stewart said that would be a risky path.

Instead, he said a separate Australian monarchy could be created, or the monarchy could be abolished through a new referendum on a republic for Australia.

The last referendum was held in 1999, when the propositions failed.

On the issue of the Australian flag, Professor Stewart said no change would be required because of Scottish independence.

“We can keep the Union Jack in our flag whatever the British may do with it,” he said.

Any changes to the Australian flag must go to a national referendum.

“Nor would it require us to remove Her Majesty from the $5 note, though maybe an Australian should adorn it anyway,” Professor Stewart said.

For Australians born in Scotland, or with Scottish parents or grandparents, Scottish independence would mean they become entitled to Scottish citizenship.

 

 

Originally published on ABC.net.au on 11/9/2014 as: Scottish referendum: Yes vote to independence could leave Australia without head of state, expert says

Knights and dames a boost for republican movement

The Australian Republican Movement has welcomed Tony Abbott’s reintroduction of knighthoods and damehoods, declaring it has re-invigorated the republic cause and prompted a boost in members.

The bizarre outcome was among the unintended consequences of Tuesday afternoon’s surprise announcement, which sparked a tide of ridicule in Parliament, newspapers, radio and social media.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten asked if the country was in a time warp, noting that not even John Howard had revived the British titles in his almost 12 years as prime minister.

Read More

PM Tony Abbott rules out reinstating Knights and Dames in Oz

He restored an oath of allegiance to the Queen when he was sworn in as Prime Minister, but Tony Abbott has ruled out bringing back Knights and Dames in Australia.

Monarchists including David Flint and Alexander Downer have mused that the PM is such a traditionalist that he may follow New Zealand’s lead and bring back knighthoods.

But critics within the Liberal Party have savaged the idea of as an attempt to introduce a “bunyip aristocracy”.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Abbott said he did not support the idea, which would involve converting the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) to Knighthoods or reintroducing a new regal honour.

Read More

Governor-General Quentin Bryce backs Australia becoming a republic

Governor-General Quentin Bryce has publicly backed both Australia becoming a republic and gay marriage in a landmark speech in Sydney.

Ms Bryce, delivering the final Boyer Lecture of the year on Friday night, said she hoped Australia might become a nation where “people are free to love and marry whom they choose”.

“And where perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation’s first head of state,” she said.

Read the full article at the ABC

Australia’s PM Julia Gillard Backs Republic After Queen’s Death

Australia should become a republic when Queen Elizabeth II dies, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said just days ahead of a general election.

Welsh-born Ms Gillard said the Queen’s death would be an “appropriate point” for Australia to move away from having a British monarch as head of state. The appropriate time for Australia to move towards a republic was when there was a change in monarch, even if that didn’t happen for another decade or more. … read the full story

This website also suggested in Considerations that this is indeed what should happen, and like Ms Gillard RepublicofAustralia.org also “has a deep affection (and respect)  for the 84-year-old monarch whom she wished a long and healthy life.”

“The Queen is Dead. Long Live the Republic of Australia!”

 

Prince William meets bushfire survivors

Admin note:  Australia is obviously a convenient stop off on Prince William’s trip home after his official visit to New Zealand.  While it’s wonderful that the Prince William who is 2nd in line and touted to be the next King of England has finally stopped by almost one year after the disasterous fires…  why wait a year? And again, where is the next in line for the throne, Prince Charles, the man who went to school in Victoria? To her credit, Princess Anne, 10th in line for the throne did visit the area shortly after the fires, as mentioned in this post, Where is Our Head of State? .

Prince William has been travelling to townships north of Melbourne today, meeting survivors of last year’s bushfires on the final full day of his Australian visit.

The Prince’s visit comes just two weeks before the first anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires that killed 173 people.

This morning the Prince was greeted by a large crowd of enthusiastic well-wishers outside the Whittlesea community centre.

Read More…

Prince Charles’ Amazing Gaffe

Prince Charles has claimed that the Royal Family is past its sell-by date and Australia should be made a republic.

The heir to the throne is alleged to have made the extraordinary comments about the monarchy during a tour Down Under where he is reported to have told told dinner guests that he couldn’t understand “why Australia bothered with us – we are really yesterday’s news”.

Read More…

Where is Our Head of State?

The deadly Victorian bushfires in February 2009, were a horrific reminder of just how natural disasters can occur.

It is wonderful to have Princess Anne as the Queen’s representative and daughter visit the fire ravaged areas. Princess Anne told the remembrance ceremony:  “Individuals and towns have responded with resilience, ingenuity, courage and selflessness to situations that were changing at terrifying speed. “People from around Australia and across the world watched in horror but with admiration at their response. “

We do indeed thank her for taking the time to visit…

But where was our Queen of Australia?

And if the Queen is unable to journey to the antipodes, where was the second in line for the throne, the man who actually went to school in the fire ravaged state of Victoria.

Where was HRH The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, the future King of Australia?

In 2005 when hurricane Katrina devastated Southern Florida, President Bush took time out from his busy schedule to visited the stricken states of his country.

Does Victoria only warrant a visit from the 10th in line for the Throne?

Where is our Head of State?

The Republic of Australia

Uluru. Northern Territory founded 1911. photo pixabay.com

Uluru. Northern Territory founded 1911. photo pixabay.com

On January 1st, 1901, without war or revolution, the self-governing colonies of Great Britain became the federated states within the Commonwealth of Australia.

From the day when Captain Arthur Phillip finally landed at Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788, with the First Fleet, it was inevitable that His Majesty King George III’s  penal colony of New South Wales would one day become a nation.

It is just as inevitable that one day the nation of Australia will become a Republic, with an Australian replacing the British Monarch as Head of State.

Australians are all too aware aware that over past decades, there has been much discussion and debate about Australian Republicanism. But it is not a new discussion. Many will be surprised that this discussion dates back to the mid 1800’s, and is as old as the move to nationhood itself. And it is as contentious today as it was then.

In recent times there has been one major vexatious issue: 

Should an Australian Head of State be elected by the people of Australia or should the Head of State be appointed by the Prime Minister, the Federal Government or a “Council”, without the people having a direct say?

Both models have their supporters who have a strong and unshakable belief that their solution is the correct one.

This site will present an alternative model which will bring both groups of supporters closer together and ultimately to Australia becoming a republic.

The case put forward and called The State Election Model (SEM), would a be method unique to Australia. 8 candidates will be selected from the states and territories by the people and their elected Representatives will make the final decision on who shall be the Head of State

The SEM has been put into several sections and each section has a dedicated page where you can read and then comment:

1. Preamble – An Introduction to the State Election Model (SEM)
2. Nomination of a Candidate
3. Election of a State or Territory Representative
4. Selection of an Australian Head of State
5. Consideration – Such as dismissal, length of term, and other issues
6. Petition of  Support

With a belief that by working together, Australians can create a model acceptable to the majority of Australians in the majority of States. Feel free to add comments that will contribute to the discussion at the bottom of each respective page.

Now is the time where all Australians can have a say in the way in how Australia  moves to a Republic.

All Australians should take ownership of this important responsibility now!

To step away from this decision now, will allow future generations to create a Republic of their choosing, one in which which the Australians of today will possibly have no say.

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