(update of Background Paper No. 9 dated 25 June 1996)
Consultant, Law and Bills Digest Group
25 June 1996
Law and Bills Digest Group
Law and Bills Digest Group
2 February 1998
The Recent Republic Debate-A Chronology
This is a revised and updated version of a paper prepared by Carolyne Hide for the Parliamentary Research Service in 1996. Its publication reflects ongoing interest in the republic debate and is timed for release during the Constitutional Convention being held at Old Parliament House, Canberra, from 2 to 13 February 1998.
Until mid 1997, the republic debate had been dominated by, but not limited to, politicians such as former Prime Ministers Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke, and Prime Minister John Howard. Former High Court Chief Justices Sir Harry Gibbs and Sir Anthony Mason and current High Court judge Michael Kirby have expressed their views as have opera singer Joan Sutherland, RSL Victorian President Bruce Ruxton, author Thomas Keneally, and Australia's wealthiest woman Janet Holmes a Court among others. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, too, have contributed. (Even English cricketer Ian Botham became involved when, in March 1992, while on tour in Australia, he threatened to 'flatten' Mr Keating over comments he had made supporting a republic.) However, other participants have gained greater prominence with the passage of time and, in particular, since the start of campaigning for election to the Constitutional Convention.
At the time of writing, the future of the debate remains unclear with republicans securing handsome majorities in most States and Territories in the Convention ballot but with no single republican alternative having emerged. Direct popular election of the President enjoys widespread community support amongst those favouring a republic but is less well regarded by those with more day to day experience in professional politics. A number of interesting alternatives to popular election have been canvassed, including options which do not give an exclusive or pre-eminent role to the Commonwealth Parliament.
The Constitutional Convention also opens with a measure of disagreement as to whether the Convention itself should canvass a range of issues extending beyond the appointment and removal of the head of state. Opinion is divided as to whether the Convention will prove 'a defining moment' or 'an expensive fizzer'.
The chronology is, like the earlier version, intended as a working tool and an aid for imperfect memories. There is no intention to push a particular view or argue either the republican or the monarchist cases. The reflecting a broad ranging and lively public debate, the collection is a potpourri of factual material, comment and interesting and speculation.
The compilers recognise that some readers may query the inclusion of some items and the exclusion of others. As comprehensive coverage is not possible (and probably not desirable), any such chronology is somewhat idiosyncratic and inevitably incomplete. Hopefully however, no major 'milestones' in the ongoing public debate have been missed. If an explanation is needed as to why this recent history has been set out in such detail, one can do no better than to quote the compiler of the first edition:
I can only say that although I read the newspapers and watched the television news at the time, it was not until I re-read the newspaper clippings and other material that I realised how quickly I had forgotten how far the debate had moved.(1)
For those wanting to follow the remarks of a particular individual or organisation, there is an index at the back of the paper which cross-references commentators and page references.
Where possible, the text of published press reports relied on here have been checked for accuracy.
16 February 1989 Bill Hayden, described by the media as fiercely republican, was sworn in as Governor-General of Australia.(2)
3 April 1991 At a Constitutional Centenary Conference in Sydney, Mr Justice Pincus, a Federal Court judge, said:
that the year 2001 was an obvious date for Australia to become a republic. He also stated that the basic reason why we should have an indigenous head of state, who is either popularly elected or elected by some method which gives him what might be described as more obvious authority, is that the day will come, and we'd perhaps got close to it in 1975, when the question of who is in charge here became terribly important...I think the position of the Governor-General, in short, is a bit weak and it should be clarified and defined and upgraded.(3)
5 April 1991 The Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, spoke at the Constitutional Centenary Conference at Parliament House Sydney. At the press conference, he said:
(Y)ou know my position on the question of a republic. It is inevitable Australia will become a republic. It is a question of when. I think it is something in which political parties have to get a sense of the feeling of the community. It still would be something which for a lot of people would be hurtful but for an increasing number of the Australian population I think there is probably a feeling that Australia should in all it's constitutional and legal apparatus be seen to be and in fact be totally independent. Now having said that I make two other points. I think in fairness to Her Majesty that I should say that she has been an ideal sort of head of this nation in the strictly prescribed sense in which she does it. She doesn't seek to intervene in the affairs of this country. She has a great knowledge of this country. So therefore when I say that it's inevitable that this country will become a republic it involves no reflection upon the role that Her Majesty has played in her constitutional role. The second thing is I think we shouldn't get this question of a republic in the wrong sort of proportions. I think it is something that will and should come to make Australians absolutely understand that we are a completely sovereign independent nation. But we shouldn't believe that it's going to make any difference to the daily life of Australian citizens...It's something which will probably give them a greater sense of an independent nationhood, well that's OK. It'll come in due time. What's the right year? I don't know.(4)
7 April 1991 The leader of the National Party, Mr Tim Fischer, said on the Sunday program, in relation to Prime Minister Hawke's comments, that
'The prospect of President Paul Keating would be an absolute disaster for Australia resented by all Australians. I do not see it as inevitable that Australia will become a republic and it's a matter for the people and the people, especially in country Australia, will reject that all the way.'
25 June 1991 A proposal prepared by the Federal Minister for Employment, Education and Training, John Dawkins, was put to the ALP National Conference.
This conference calls upon the Government to embark upon a public education campaign, culminating in a referendum which would effect reform of the Australian Constitution and other political institutions to enable Australia to become an independent Republic on 1 January 2001.
The resolution, proposed by Senator Chris Schacht, was passed unanimously.
25 June 1991 The Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, commented on the question of Australia becoming a republic in the year 2001.
It's just a diversion. Turning Australia into a republic won't do anything for our foreign debt or our interest rates, it won't create any jobs for Australians. It is just a diversion.(5)
26 June 1991 The Western Australian Premier, Dr Carmen Lawrence, supported Australia becoming a republic.(6)
26 June 1991 A former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser and his Defence Minister, Sir James Killen, opposed Australia becoming a republic on the basis that the issue was divisive.(7)
26 June 1991 A former Liberal Senator, Neville Bonner, said that Australia had been served well by the ties it had maintained with Britain.
And besides, if Australia became a republic we, the Aboriginal people, would be no better off because the changes that are needed to help us don't include republican status. I see no point.(8)
26 June 1991 Dr Hewson said
(O)ur Party position on republicanism, is that we are opposed to it. I mean, we believe in a constitutional monarchy, it has been a central part of our platform, if you like, since the days of Sir Robert Menzies. I know people are saying with the changing nature of our economy, we are moving towards the circumstances where people will want a republic, I don't believe that. I don't think it is inevitable in Australia... .What disturbs me is that, the last resort I guess of the failed economic manager of the failed Government, is to appeal to patriotism and nationalism and it came out yesterday, as an issue, as diversion.(9)
27 June 1991 Prime Minister Hawke reiterated his view on the inevitability of a republic and said '(n)ow just how quickly that happens I feel has got to be a matter for the community to allow itself to express. That view of mine is consistent with the resolution that's been adopted by the Conference.'(10)
27 June 1991 The Opposition spokesman for Industrial Relations, John Howard, commenting on the ALP National Conference proposal said:
I'm not in favour of it. I would not presently favour changing Australia to a republic. I believe in the Westminster system of government where you have a division between the head of State and the head of Government. The present system has served us well. We are for all practical purposes an independent country...and in some senses we have the best of both worlds. Those people who don't particularly care for the royal link, don't find their daily lives invaded with it. On the other hand, there are millions of Australians who hold the association very dear, and whilst others will disagree with them, what the Labor Party is now embarking upon is a 10 year period of division and the development of enmity and bitterness in the community over an issue which, if it were left alone, would in the fullness of time solve itself in a non-divisive manner.
27 June 1991 The Queensland RSL 75th Congress meeting in Mackay, voted unanimously to oppose the proposal adopted by the ALP national conference in Hobart. The RSL's vice president, Ray Devere said 'It's against everything Australian servicemen and women have fought for.'(11)
28 June 1991 A Liberal backbencher in the South Australian Parliament, Bob Such, said that he saw the establishment of an Australian constitutional monarchy, as easier, legally and constitutionally, than declaring a republic. Mr Such suggested that either of the Queen's two younger sons, Prince Andrew or Prince Edward, would be ideal as resident monarch.(12)
28 June 1991 The Federal Management Committee of the National Party reaffirmed the Party's long standing support for the constitutional monarch. The committee agreed that the National Party should vigorously oppose any referendum question aimed at turning Australia into a republic or changing the existing Australian National Flag. The party's motto was Honour to God, Loyalty to the Crown, Justice for All. 'Our policy specifically supports loyalty to the Crown and Nation, pride in the Australian National Anthem and God Save the Queen and respect for the existing Australian National Flag.'(13)
4 July 1991 The Victorian President of the RSL, Bruce Ruxton, said the decision of the ALP national conference to endorse a referendum on becoming a republic was 'an obscenity'.(14)
7 July 1991 At the launch of the Australian Republican Movement by author, Tom Keneally, the following declaration was issued.
We, as Australians, united in one indissoluble Commonwealth, affirm our allegiance to the nation and people of Australia. We assert that the freedom and unity of Australia must derive its strength from the will of the people.
We believe that the harmonious development of the Australian community demands that the allegiance of Australians must be fixed wholly within and upon Australia and Australian institutions.
We therefore propose as a great national goal for Australia:
THAT BY THE FIRST OF JANUARY, 2001-THE FIRST DAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY AND THE CENTENARY OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE FEDERATION-AUSTRALIA SHALL BECOME AN INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC.(15)
7 July 1991 A special task force was set up to fight for the preservation of royal ties with Britain, headed by former Liberal Party President Sir John Atwill. Its members included Federal Opposition Industrial Relations spokesman John Howard.(16)
8 July 1991 Merchant banker and lawyer Malcolm Turnbull said that if the Westminster political system were retained, a simple change to the Constitution was all that would be needed to declare a republic. 'The reference to "the Queen and Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom" could be replaced with "The Queen shall mean the President of Australia who shall be selected by [whatever means]", he said.' Mr Turnbull also said that 'The Liberals are just turning what should be an apolitical citizens issue into a party political one for shabby political gain and I think that's a great pity.'(17)
8 July 1991 The Liberal Party president, Peter King, said the 'ARM was an ALP inspired move as obvious as night follows day. The Labor Party needed a smokescreen to detract attention from its poor economic performance. It's Labor's republic and nobody should be fooled by it.'(18)
9 July 1991 Heather Gow, the vice-president of the Royal Commonwealth Society, which had about 600 members said that anyone who spoke ill of the Queen and who pushed for a republic was guilty of 'sedition and/or treason'.(19)
12 July 1991 Liberal Senator Rod Kemp wrote to the Australian Financial Review and argued that there were a number of important constitutional matters to be resolved such as: 'What will be the role of the republican head of State? How will the republicans prevent the head of State either from becoming a mere political cipher (by prime ministerial appointment), or a major political power (by direct election)? What protections will be put in place to check a government which acts illegally?'
17 July 1991 Former Treasurer, now Labor backbencher, Paul Keating was asked where he stood on the republic by Ray Martin and replied 'I've got a sneaking suspicion there's a certain inevitability about it all. But I think it's good there's a public debate about it rather than a political debate. Because you know once you get a political debate, it all becomes polarised, it's like the referendums.'(20)
17 July 1991 Liberal Senator Bronwyn Bishop issued a media release which said:
It may well have been High Noon on the Midday Show when Ron Casey took a swipe at Normie Rowe but this conduct indicates just how divisive the debate on the Monarchy has become. Not content to see the country on its knees as a result of the recession the Labor Party must be pleased that it is dividing the community on an issue which has absolutely no political relevance.(21)
21 July 1991 The Opposition spokesman on Industrial Relations John Howard, writing in The Sunday Telegraph, said:
the republicans are trying to have it both ways. They want to achieve a fundamental change to Australia's Constitution yet have made the political judgement that the chances of winning that change are much greater if the public are lulled into believing that there is really no change at all. As a democrat I totally accept and respect the right of fellow Australians to advocate a republic. However their advocacy should be upon the basis that Australia will be better off by putting aside the present system. There are many who think it quite incongruous that Australia's head of state should live in the United Kingdom. If so we have lived with that incongruity for a long time and there is little evidence that our independence, self-esteem and dignity as a nation has suffered as a consequence...In many ways we have at present the best of both worlds. Some describe it as a crowned republic.(22)
21 July 1991 The Governor-General, wrote to Labor backbencher Barry Jones, in relation to a reference by Mr Jones to Mr Hayden as 'a closet republican'. Mr Hayden reportedly said that he had
never professed such (republican) beliefs to anyone, including you. Indeed, for many years up to the present, and especially when I was Leader of the Opposition for several years, I had gone out of my way, and continue to do so, to point out that I believe the republican cause to be unimportant in its own right and to be politically counter-productive. I wonder if you would be good enough to let me know the basis on which you made this sweeping claim? ...can I take it that, should you be commenting in this area in future, you will do so with accuracy?(23)
24 July 1991 The Labor Premier of South Australia, John Bannon, said that 'there was no overriding constitutional or social reason for becoming a republic, though the move was probably inevitable'.(24)
26 July 1991 Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam said that 2001 would be a realistic target date for establishing a republic and that he believed the person appointed to the presidency would be elected by all members of parliament, rather than by the people or on the advice of the Prime Minister.(25)
4 August 1991 The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, the Right Reverend Owen Dowling said that 'I personally am in favour of the debate about a republic, though I know there are many members of the church who are horrified by the thought and are against the matter being debated in Australia.'(26)
12 August 1991 The Victorian Liberal Party State president, Michael Kroger, said that the Victorian Liberal Party would begin a campaign to win grass-roots support to fight moves to make Australia a republic. Mr Kroger said 'Liberals could not afford to ignore recent statements of support for a republic from the ALP.'(27)
20 December 1991 Paul Keating sworn in as Prime Minister after deposing Bob Hawke.
10 January 1992 The Labor Government in South Australia replaced the royal coat of arms in courtrooms with the South Australian coat of arms, featuring the piping shrike, a type of small magpie which lives in the State.(28)
11 January 1992 The Republican Party of Australia advised that it would apply to the Australian Electoral Commission for accreditation as a political party and that it would field two Senate candidates in each mainland State at the 1992 election. The party had applied to the Commission in 1987 but the RSL had objected and it was not accredited.(29)
27 January 1992 The Australian Republican Movement (ARM), in its first annual Australia Day statement said that ill-informed and misguided debate had created much confusion about a republican Australia. They called for a republican convention to draft the necessary constitutional changes and restore a focus to the debate.(30)
31 January 1992 The Victorian State President of the RSL Bruce Ruxton, wrote that the RSL and its membership 'will never agree to this country becoming a republic. We are proud to be associated with the Queen, who is our patron, and who, as this country's head of State, has never once put a foot wrong. Show me a politician with such a record.'(31)
1 February 1992 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, called for a new Australian flag. 'I suppose people around the world are entitled to say, "We look at your flag-you've got the flag of another country in the corner. Are you a colony or are you a nation?"' The Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, supported the present flag but said debate over the flag was far less important than solving the problems of the economy. Dr Hewson said 'I personally think our flag has served us well...I know a lot of Australians have fought under it and many have died for it ...If it's working well, why change it?'(32)
4 February 1992 Sir Richard Kirby of Aus-flag, argued for a new Australian flag without the Union Jack incorporated into its design as the current flag 'proclaims that Australia is still ... a dominion of Great Britain', and is, therefore, 'inadequate, divisive and demonstrably colonial'(33)
10 February 1992 The chairman of the ARM, Tom Keneally, referring to the forthcoming visit of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, said: '(i)f we Australians feel we cannot have our own ceremonies and celebrations without importing a Royal person to give them legitimacy, then of course, we should pay for the expense of the British monarch's journey.'(34)
10 February 1992 The Opposition spokesman for Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, John Howard, issued a news release that in part stated, 'Although I strongly support the monarchy, I fully accept that a respectable intellectual and emotional case can be made for an Australian republic ...however, those advocating a republic should not be allowed to escape with the furphy that getting rid of the monarchy would save money. Clearly it would not.'(35)
15 February 1992 In an article in the Australian, Tom Keneally proposed that:
Australia should have a head of State who is an Australian citizen, who is appointed by and can be removed by the Australian people and who represents and owes sole allegiance to the people of Australia. This head of state or President would have powers approximating those of the Governor-General and would act solely on the advice of prime ministers and ministers. He or she would have none of the executive powers enjoyed by the presidents of the United States or France.(36)
15 February 1992 John Howard, in an article in the Australian said:
Australia is, and has been for some time, a crowned republic. To many, the status quo is the best of both worlds. Those who do not care for the royal link do not find it intruding into their everyday lives. On the other hand, millions of Australians have a deep respect for the institution and admire the dedication and sense of duty displayed by the present occupant. Although this is a minimalist defence of the monarchy and is not the sole basis of my own view, it does thrust a heavy onus on those wanting to change to establish a clear national benefit in becoming a republic. A mixture of historical sentiment, constitutional utility, the proven deficiencies of alternatives and an instinctive feeling that the aphorism 'If it works don't fix it' is apt leads me to advocate the retention of the monarchy.(37)
18 February 1992 The Queen arrived in Sydney for the Sydney Council's 150th anniversary. She also visited Dubbo, Canberra and Adelaide before returning to Britain on 25 February.(38)
19 February 1992 Five State Labor MP's Franca Arena, Ian Macdonald, Meredith Burgmann, Ann Symonds and Andy Mason, stated that they would not attend the Queen's unveiling of her official portrait and the afternoon tea at Parliament House and any other social function. They added that:
Australians should be politically mature enough to have their own head of state and flag. The Queen should not be the head of the Australian people simply because she is the British monarch.(39)
23 February 1992 Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam speaking at the Australian Young Labor Conference dinner said that it was inevitable that Australia would become a republic and that it would simply involve a referendum to change the constitution and to substitute the word President for Queen and Governor-General.(40)
24 February 1992 During the Queen's visit to Australia, Prime Minister Keating gave a speech of welcome in which he congratulated the Queen on the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Mr Keating noted that Australians had changed over those 40 years, and that some of those who had sat in Parliament during the Queen's first visit to Australia in 1954 had seen the world through imperial eyes and that many remembered monarchs from Queen Victoria onwards. 'This is an altogether different generation, reflecting the profound change in our two countries and the relationship between them,' Mr Keating said. The Prime Minister also said that:
As our constitutional relationship has evolved, so have the circumstances of our economic and political lives. These days we must both face the necessities of a global economy and global change of often staggering speed and magnitude. Just as Great Britain some time ago sought to make her future secure in the European community, so Australia now vigorously seeks partnerships with countries in our own region. Our outlook is necessarily independent. That independence in part was reflected in your becoming, in 1973, Queen of Australia. In 1992 it is reflected in our growing sense of national purpose.(41)
25 February 1992 The Opposition spokesman on Trade, Alexander Downer, said that the Prime Minister's speech was 'poorly conceived, weakly delivered and downright ungracious. He suggested that Mr Keating would be remembered as Australia's most petty, mean-minded and ungracious Prime Minister since Federation.'(42)
25 February 1992 The Opposition spokesman on Industrial Relations, John Howard, said 'the reception for the Queen was insultingly low key and that Mr Keating's speech was inappropriate.'(43)
25 February 1992 The Opposition Leader, Dr Hewson, said 'he was very disappointed that Mr Keating had taken the opportunity to give a tilt in favour of republicanism in front of the Queen. I come from a similar background to Paul Keating. We were taught to show a bit of respect and I think that was an occasion to show respect and not to make a political statement.'(44)
26 February 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating was criticised in the British press for putting his arm around the Queen.(45)
27 February 1992 During Question Time, the Prime Minister accused Britain of abandoning Australia to the Japanese during the Second World War. He said that Britain was the 'country which decided not to defend the Malayan peninsula, not to worry about Singapore and not to give us our troops back to keep ourselves free from Japanese domination.' He also accused Dr Hewson of having subservient respect for Britain, rather than respect for his own nation. 'If he believes that I cannot say that this is a more independent country, that we're not tied to Britain's coat tails...if he thinks that we ought to be basically into British boot-strapping, forelock tugging, and he calls that respect, it's not respect for this country,' Mr Keating said. He then spoke of the 1950's as 'the golden age when vast numbers of Australians never got a look in: when women did not get a look in and had no equal rights and no equal pay; when migrants were factory fodder; when Aborigines were excluded from the system...and that awful cultural cringe under Menzies which held us back for nearly a generation.'(46)
28 February 1992 John Howard wrote to the Australian Financial Review and said:
If Australia were to become a republic because the majority of Australians believed we would be better governed as a consequence, then so be it. That would not be a judgement I would advocate or that I believe on a proper analysis of the arguments should be accepted. However, it would at least have the merit of a decision taken for the right reason. If by contrast, we throw out the Monarchy because we think it will make us more acceptable in our region, we will not only be mistaken but our decision will be regarded with patronising contempt by our Asian neighbours.(47)
28 February 1992 The Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, issued a media release that said in part:
The National Party and indeed the Coalition strongly supports the retention of our Constitutional Monarchy, it has served us well in the past and present and helps provide a great deal of stability and continuity. It is for these practical reasons, rather than sentimental reasons, that the Constitutional Monarchy be retained; in saying this it does not cut across the need for Australia to greatly boost its relations and its economic and export links with Asia.
Mr Fisher also warned that a Republic of Australia and the creation of an Office of President of Australia would lead to greater centralisation of powers within the cocoon of Canberra.'(48)
28 February 1992 The Leader of the Opposition, Dr Hewson, appeared on the Alan Jones' radio program and the Hinch Program. Dr Hewson said on the Hinch Program that
I don't think it (republicanism) will be an issue in the next election. I think it is an issue that we will debate in Australia for quite some time...I'm not (a republican), I actually think that the constitutional monarchy has worked particularly well for Australia and I have this quite simple view that when things work well and they don't need changing, why bother changing them? I am concerned that these issues quite often arise as a diversion that keeps us away from the main game and right now that is creating jobs.
28 February 1992 The Sydney Morning Herald reported that
A palace spokesperson confirmed that there was no royal protocol on touching the Queen, who arrived back in Britain today. The Queen is a normal person and there are no rules and regulations about touching her.(49)
29 February 1992 The Sydney Morning Herald reported that former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser had written to the Daily Telegraph in London defending Mr Keating's speech to the Queen and claiming that Australia 'got the worst end of the deal' from Britain in both world wars.(50)
29 February 1992 Fifty-seven per cent of people questioned by the Saulwick Age Poll wanted Australia to become a republic, 81 per cent supported Australia remaining a member of the Commonwealth, 39 per cent said they wanted the Queen to remain head of state and 4 per cent, didn't know what they wanted.(51)
1 March 1992 The Sunday Telegraph reported that Mr Keating had said 'I think Australia will end up a republic at some point but certainly not while I'm Prime Minister.'(52)
1 March 1992 Former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam said
I've changed my views on the question of the monarchy in the past 16 years. My old view was that it didn't matter...Why I changed my mind is because of the conduct of Sir John Kerr...What we would propose is that the president should be the head of state and should carry out the only job there is for a head of state: transfer power from one administration to another if an election shows that the former administration no longer has a majority in the House of Representatives, or if the Parliament shows the former administration has not got a majority in the House of Representatives. (53)
1 March 1992 Labor Senator Bob McMullan said that 'for more than 20 years I have been of the view that it is both inevitable and desirable that Australia should become a republic.'(54)
1 March 1992 The Saulwick poll in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age showed that 42 per cent of people questioned preferred that Australia remain in the Commonwealth as a republic, 15 per cent wanted Australia to become a republic outside the Commonwealth and 39 per cent wanted Australia to remain in the Commonwealth with the Queen as head of state.(55)
1 March 1992 The Young Liberal Movement of Australia issued a press release which said:
Prime Minister Keating's attack on our friends in Britain is simply a tactic to divert attention... and attempt to fix the mess that he has created...Keating cannot make us a republic until he makes us one nation: his plan to try to do that is a dismal failure and has set back his republican cause by years as we repay the debt it leaves us with.(56)
1 March 1992 The Sunday Telegraph reported that hundreds of people had joined the Australian Republican Movement since the Queen's visit, including Australia's wealthiest woman, Janet Holmes a Court. To join the Australian Republican Movement, members sign the following declaration.
'By January 1, 2001...the centenary of the proclamation of federation, Australia shall become an independent republic. Into that goal we now pledge our best endeavours.'(57)
2 March 1992 Following Prime Minister Keating's remarks on World War II, debate continued as to whether Britain did all it could or whether the British knew that Singapore could not be defended but kept the reports secret from Australia.(58)
2 March 1992 On the first day of the Wills by-election campaign, the leader of the Opposition, Dr Hewson said that republicanism would not reduce the number of unemployed in Australia and any debate on the issue should be secondary to economic recovery.(59)
3 March 1992 Research conducted by the Federal Liberal Party secretariat showed that seven Labor held seats which would be lost with a swing of less than 5 per cent, contained high concentrations of British migrants and that Prime Minister Keating's attack on Australia's traditional links with Britain and the monarchy could cost the Government a number of vital marginal seats.(60)
3 March 1992 Former Prime Minister Hawke said that the Government should make a statement of intent that it wanted Australia to become a republic and proposed that a referendum be held in the life of the next Parliament.(61)
6 March 1992 The Deputy Premier of the National Party in NSW, Wal Murray, said that Mr Keating's criticism of Britain's role (in the fall of Singapore) during World War II (and the defence of Australia) was 'a transparent and deceitful exercise in back-alley politics'.(62)
6 March 1992 The Governor-General, Bill Hayden speaking at a book launch, said that 'too many Australians remain jammed in the jaws of an old imperialist vice that refuses to let them move on to a more productive understanding of our neighbours.'(63)
6 March 1992 Mr Murray retaliated, accusing the Governor-General of 'insulting the Queen and being a stooge of the republican movement'.
The Governor -General has deliberately trammelled the protocol and convention of his high office and has shown his true colours as a stooge of the republican push. He has denigrated his high position by issuing a calculated insult to Her Majesty in the form of a political comment, reflecting on Australia's existing constitutional system.(64)
7 March 1992 Prime Minister Keating suggested, at the launch of Rodney Hall's novel, The Second Bridegroom, at Writers Week in Adelaide, that it was a 'curiosity' to have the Union Jack in the corner of the Australian flag. He also said, in reply to a question about how Australians could be more Australian, 'Well, for a start, by not tugging the forelock at the British establishment. That's a place for starters, the Liberal Party have yet to learn about that.'(65)
8 March 1992 Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser wrote that
Those who want to change the system and become a republic seem to believe that Australia would stand taller, that Australians would be better off. There is no evidence of that.
There is no point idly and without purpose cutting off 200 years of history.
In welcoming Her Majesty to Parliament House, the Prime Minister pointed out that Britain had decided that its economic future lay with Europe, and that we, partly as a consequence of that, had to recognise that our economic future lies with the countries of Asia. It was an obvious comment and not one that could possibly have given offence to Her Majesty as Queen of Australia.
It was taken, however, by some to be a republican statement, by others to be discourteous and led to a great furore and a lot of nonsense, especially in the British press. It also led to further debates in the Parliament. Here the question of our constitutional forms became much confused with the question of Australian nationalism and Australian pride.(66)
8 March 1992 English all-rounder Ian Botham, commenting on the republican debate said 'Bring Mr Keating here and I'll flatten him.' The English cricket team later stormed out of Ballarat just hours after arriving as they claimed that their beds were too short.(67)
8 March 1992 National Party MP, Michael Cobb, said that he was considering whether to write a letter of complaint to the Queen over comments by the Governor-General Bill Hayden. During a speech, Mr Hayden had joked about losing his job after opinion polls showed a surge of support for a republic. Mr Hayden said 'It doesn't look good does it? This might be my swan song.' NSW Deputy Premier Wal Murray claimed the 'outrageous remarks' insulted the Queen and showed Mr Hayden to be a stooge of the republican movement.(68)
8 March 1992 Liberal Member for Goldstein Dr David Kemp wrote that:
The Prime Minister appears to be one of the few people who has not realised that Australia is a fully independent country...Let no one imagine that a republic can easily be brought about in this country. There is nothing inevitable about Australia becoming a republic. A move to a republic would require the powers of the President to be specified, including his powers in relation to the Senate, and in the case of a deadlock between the Houses of Parliament. The powers of the Senate would therefore have to be redefined. This would open up the whole federal compact on which this country is based.(69)
9 March 1992 The Opposition spokesman on Industrial Relations, John Howard, referring to Prime Minister Keating, said:
that '(i)t is quite obvious, both from his historically inaccurate anti-British outburst in Parliament and his more considered speech in Adelaide last Friday, that the Prime Minister has embarked upon a course of politicising Australian patriotism...Nothing could be more divisive, nothing more destructive of the united national spirit we need and which he claims to champion.(70)
10 March 1992 The Australian reported that 'Mr Howard's decision to press on with his defence of Australia's ties to Britain in the face of Dr Hewson's warning has led some shadow Cabinet members to question what they see as Mr Howard's claim to be able to be(sic) speak out on a range of issues beyond his portfolio area of employment'. The paper reported that 'Dr Hewson had told the Shadow Cabinet that Mr Keating's push for a loosening of ties with Britain was an "artificial" issue and that Shadow Cabinet members should not be distracted by it and should return "to the main game". Dr Hewson urged his colleagues to "get back to the economy" rather than focus on emotional side issues.'(71)
10 March 1992 The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, in a Commonwealth Day radio interview, said that growing republicanism in parts of the Commonwealth with traditionally close links to Britain, such as Australia, did not jeopardise the broad-based organisation.(72)
15 March 1992 The Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, said 'I haven't changed my position at all, I'm surprised to see that people think I have'.(73)
17 March 1992 Prime Minister Keating, in a speech to the Irish-Australian Chamber of Commerce on St Patrick's Day, said:
I said a few things recently about the flag, but let me say this. We've got to be certain of who we are to take our place in the world, and we can't fly two symbols with our nation for much longer. A nation internally uncertain about its representational image is of course a nation uncertain about itself. I spent a decade trying to transform the Australian economy...to make it a country with an international economic ambition. It became increasingly plain to me that another kind of transformation is necessary, a social transformation, a mental transformation, because we are not going to make it simply be getting the nuts and bolts together, by getting the macro-economy right,...we won't ever get it right until we get that mental transformation that Australia is a country of its own character. Australia is a country which will make its own way in the world. That's the transformation we need to really pull off, our internationalisation, our true independence...But when it is said in Australia that the contribution we made to Britain in World War I was not returned in full in World War II when an Australian view is expressed-scandal and outrage. Yet those who care to consult the histories, even those written by Englishmen, will find that it's not wrong or even indeed those who recently consult the Financial Times or the Guardian or the London Times, will find that it was not wrong. Yet my dissatisfaction and disaffection is not with Britain or the British, it is with those who cannot find it in themselves to speak with an unashamed and wholehearted Australian voice, who not only fail at the essential task to grasp the future but will not even grasp the past.(74)
17 March 1992 The Shadow Minister for Trade and Trade Negotiations, Alexander Downer, issued a media release which said, in response to the Prime Minister's remarks:
Mr Keating's campaign against Australia's national flag-which he continued today-is a campaign to make Australians abandon their national heritage, to turn their backs on their history and to remodel Australia as a cold, austere, soulless and technocratic State without traditions, heritage or history. One of the great differences between Mr Keating's Labor Party and the Coalition is that Mr Keating is essentially ashamed of our past whereas the Coalition is proud of it...It is only natural in a country which owes so much to Britain for the way it is and the outward expression of that heritage-the language it speaks-that we should have the Union Jack in the corner of our flag.(75)
18 March 1992 The Treasurer, John Dawkins, said at the launch of Reluctant Nation: Australia and the Allied Defeat of Japan 1942-45 - by David Day, that:
[The republican debate] is not a diversion. It is a very important issue which many Australians are already thinking about, have been thinking about for some time and it is about time the Liberal's stopped trying to spoil in relation to this issue...it will only be divisive if the Liberal Party continue to be irrelevant on this issue. Of course, they are capable of creating a diversion and a division as they did, or their predecessors did, right back during the war when something as simple and automatic as giving effect to the Statute of Westminster was turned into a political issue by the conservative parties of the time.(76)
18 March 1992 Dr Hewson said:
It's not going to do anything about jobs if we change the flag or drop the constitutional monarchy. It's not going to create any more confidence in individuals simply by changing the symbols. The problem is, we have been independent for decades and decades, since the beginning of this century. He [Mr Keating] had a real choice over the 1980's as to whether we pursued economic success or economic failure. He chose economic failure.(77)
23 March 1992 The Minister for Tourism, Alan Griffiths, said that Australia was at a turning point and that Australians were psychologically prepared to cut the '12 000-kilometre umbilical cord'. Mr Griffiths also said Britain had 'cut Australia off at the knees' by joining the European Community and he supported the attack by the Prime Minister on its record as a war ally. On the question of why we have not had civil war in Australia he said 'the reason why we haven't had civil wars is that Australians are basically sensible people and we've had differences of opinion but they have usually been over football or things like that'.(78)
24 March 1992 The Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, said that 'Keating's move to cut the gordian knot that has seen this country evolve free of division, full of pride in its achievements with a truly democratic government and a sense of belonging can only mean one thing and that is he is intent on destabilising the Australian nation...For one who loves the beauty and craftsmanship of antique French clocks it seems strange he cannot appreciate the civility offered by years of tradition and refinement that has been steeped in chivalry, democracy and freedom.'(79)
25 March 1992 English cricketers Graham Gooch and Ian Botham walked out of the World Cup cricket final dinner in protest against a comedy sketch by royal impersonator Gerry Connolly. The English cricket manager said that 'We thought it entirely in poor taste for an occasion like this.'(80)
15 March 1992 Opposition leader Dr Hewson said that he would not object to Australia becoming a republic if it became clear that most Australians supported the change but that the change was not inevitable and that Australia continued to be served well by the constitutional monarchy.(81)
29 March 1992 The Australian Republican Movement South Australian Campaign Launch proposed:
'...that by 1 January 2001-the first day of the 21st century and the centenary of the proclamation of federation-Australia shall become an independent republic.'(82)
31 March 1992 According to a Bulletin poll, 41 per cent of Australians believed that Australia should become a republic, 45 per cent were opposed to the change and 14 per cent were uncommitted. These results compared with 1979 when a similar poll disclosed 31 per cent in favour, 61 per cent against and 8 per cent uncommitted.(83)
3 April 1992 The Governor-General, Bill Hayden was 'stricken with despair' on hearing that moves had been made to ban him from official ANZAC day ceremonies in Ipswich for making 'pro-republican statements'.(84)
4 April 1992 Ministers in the Indonesian Government expressed 'delight' at the Prime Minister's urgings that Australia become a more independent nation.(85)
5 April 1992 Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke wrote that:
I said myself as Prime Minister on a number of occasions that it was inevitable and appropriate that Australia would become a republic within the Commonwealth. Inevitable, because increasingly younger generations of Australians, particularly for those from a non-British background, the idea of sharing another country's head of state doesn't make much sense. Appropriate, because our proper sense of robust national sovereign independence is not complete until Australia does have its own entirely separate head of state.' Mr Hawke said that he did not believe the issues was one of 'overwhelming urgency' and that the timing of the change to a republic should be when the reign of the current sovereign ends.(86)
7 April 1992 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating said, referring to Mr Hawke, 'I never heard a peep out of him about the flag or our constitutional future when he was Prime Minister, but he's got plenty of views now'. On the timing of the republic, the Prime Minister said that to wait until the reign of the Queen finishes 'could be a very long time from now.'(87)
8 April 1992 The leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator John Coulter, told the Australian that most Democrats were 'soft Republicans'.(88)
12 April 1992 RSL members barred republican supporters from entering their clubs on Anzac day.(89)
23 April 1992 Academic Dr John Hirst wrote that:
...as the sensible multiculturalist recognises, our fundamental institutions and values, which all citizens must support, are the old (and British) ones; parliamentary government, the rule of law, civil liberties, tolerance. As our society becomes more diverse, we need to insist more firmly on their centrality...A republic which disowned our political and cultural heritage would be a pathetic and impoverished body.(90)
27 April 1992 The Prime Minister visited Kokoda. He distanced Australia from its British links and drew attention to the significance of the Papua-New Guinea battles.(91)
28 April 1992 The Canberra Times editorialised that:
Our constitutional set-up and the flag need to be looked at in the light of the changing make-up of Australia's population. But the way he (Mr Keating) has gone about it is unsavoury...He has belittled the role of those who served outside the Pacific in both wars. And he has used his overseas trip as a platform to pursue his political aims. The most appalling thing is that the strategy is working, or more correctly being allowed to work because of the ineptness of the Opposition's response. The Leader of the Opposition, has said that the economic debate must come first and that Mr Keating's launch into nationalism is a diversion. That is true. But surely we can have two debates at the same time.... Mr Keating would then have the harder job. It is all very well saying change the flag and the monarchy, but what to?(92)
28 April 1992 The Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Peter Hollingworth, said that:
'Rather than talking about independence, we should be trying to pursue a policy of inter-dependence'. 'The idea of independence is a very difficult notion, and I am not sure in the end that that is an important thing that we should be pushing.'(93)
30 April 1992 It was reported that the ALP generally supported changing the flag but senior members of the Government believed that Mr Keating was moving too quickly and would urge him to set a time-table well beyond the next election.(94)
2 May 1992 Merchant banker and lawyer, Malcolm Turnbull, wrote that Australia deserved a national flag which unambiguously symbolised Australia and its unique destiny as an independent nation. He said however that while a consensus was developing on what sort of republic Australia should become nobody had come up with a new flag which excited popular imagination. He said '[i]n this respect, the Prime Minister has miscued in pushing the new flag harder than the republic'.(95)
3 May 1992 The National Party Victorian State conference condemned the Prime Minister Mr Keating for the 'disgraceful manner in which he is pursuing his republican aims.' Mr Fischer pledged to fight Mr Keating 'all the way' to retain the flag.(96)
5 May 1992 An opinion poll showed that 54 per cent of people would never want to see the flag changed, compared with 42 per cent who favoured a change now or later. There was a reversal in relation to a republic with 45 per cent opposed, compared with 41 per cent in favour, which eliminated the narrow majority in favour in the previous poll.(97)
8 May 1992 Mr Keating said that the heightened sense of Australian identity had struck a positive chord in Indonesia and that it was not surprising that a country like Indonesia, which had fought so hard for its independence, should be interested in the emergence of a more clear-cut view of Australian nationhood here. He also said that Australian people had to have a belief in themselves to make change occur.
By this, I mean that to seize the opportunities and assure our long-term security, without prejudice to our predominantly British and European origins and our continuing affections for those places, we must determine as a people to think of Australia as a place whose history is its own, whose traditions and values are its own, whose future is most definitely its own.(98)
11 May 1992 A Saulwick Herald poll showed 56 percent of people thought Australia should become a republic while 42 per cent favoured it remaining a constitutional monarchy.(99)
14 May 1992 RSL president Brigadier Alf Garland said that Mr Keating was 'an Irish republican bigot.'(100)
15 May 1992 The Australian Republican Movement opened a Victorian branch with about 200 members.(101)
15 May 1992 Malcolm Turnbull said that Mr Keating had hindered the move to a republic by calling Liberals 'bootlickers' and lickspitters' to the British. '[O]ur battle is to win the hearts and the minds of the Liberal and National parties because until we have their support a referendum is going to be a doubtful proposition'.(102)
18 May 1992 At the launch of the Western Australia Branch of the Australian Republican Movement, Mr Turnbull said that the republican movement was too important to become the property of one political party. He also said that the most disappointing feature of the Liberal Party's stance on republicanism was that at least half of its leaders supported Australia becoming a republic.(103)
25 May 1992 Former Solicitor General, Sir Maurice Byers, said that:
the practical chance of Australia's becoming a republic in the foreseeable future was nil, both because of the difficulties of getting party political consensus and because of the difficulties of getting any measures adopted by referendum. A republic was probably inevitable, but...important questions-not least the issue of the powers that the president of a head of state should have and how he or she should be elected-were rarely canvassed.(104)
2 June 1992 Academic Geoffrey Partington, writing in The Bulletin on the monarchy, portrayed the republican debate thus:
Since the leadership change did not bring any immediate improvement in the economy or the political fortunes of the ALP, Keating sought an issue that might present him as both a patriot and genuine radical. Republicanism and pom-bashing were his answers. His tactics succeeded in the short run and he and his party have risen in the opinion polls for months.(105)
2 June 1992 Dame Joan Sutherland pledged her full support to 'Leadership Beyond Politics - Australians For Constitutional Monarchy.'
4 June 1992 Australians for Constitutional Monarchy held their first public meeting at Sydney's Lower Town Hall attended by about 450 people. The foundation council consisted of the former Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Harry Gibbs, the Chancellor of Sydney University, Dame Leonie Kramer, former Sydney Lord Mayor, Mr Doug Sutherland, the President of the NSW Court of Appeal, Justice Michael Kirby, former Liberal Party Federal President, Sir John Atwill and Mr Barry O'Keefe QC.(106) (107)
7 June 1992 The chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, Mr Tom Keneally, said that an aboriginal woman would make an ideal first President of the proposed Republic of Australia.(108)
7 June 1992 The convenor of the Republican Movement in Victoria, Dr John Hirst, said that he wanted the Queen's Birthday holiday replaced by Wattle Day.(109)
8 June 1992 The leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, challenged Australians who supported the Prime Minister's bid for a republic and a new flag, not to take the Queen's Birthday public holiday and to spend a day at work.(110)
8 June 1992 Professor Donald Horne said that the Queen was no longer a relevant symbol for Australia.
Basically the problem is that Queen Elizabeth is always the Queen of Great Britain...She is Queen of Australia only when she comes to Australia. If the British Government wants her to, she will make speeches that go against Australian interest. In this sense, Australia has a monarch some of whose activities can, in effect, be those of a foreign agent. Queen Elizabeth is an admirable person. But by going on pretending she is Queen of Australia, Australians place her in a position in which she could be used as the agent of a foreign power against the interest of Australia.(111)
10 June 1992 The Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, Ian George, drew a parallel between Mr Keating's push to change the flag and make Australia a republic with the 'bread and circuses' staged by Roman emperors to divert public attention from serious problems.(112)
10 June 1992 The Australian editorial said that the private lives of the Prince and Princess of Wales were not remote from Australian constitutional affairs.
The intangible factor is the esteem in which Prince Charles is held and, more immediately, the extent to which the activities of the royal family are undermining ongoing support for the existing constitutional arrangements...The dignity of Australia, its independence and the recognition of its sovereignty will only be fully achieved when it becomes a republic. No amount of royal harmony can change that fact. An amount of royal disharmony may speed its recognition.(113)
26 June 1992 The Prime Minister, at the Australian Book Publishers Awards in Sydney said that:
Visitors like John Mortimer could be forgiven for wondering why we are so pre-occupied with questions of identity...But it seems to me a fundamental concern...We have always been ambivalent about who we are. Robert Menzies of course resolved the dilemma by saying we were like a child...He imagined us in our relationship with Britain as being like a youth returning to its mother, the old family-as if back from a spell at Timbertop, or jackerooing. Hudson (W. J. Hudson, an historian of Australian foreign policy) uses a similar metaphor but puts a different spin on it. When Britain formalised her withdrawal into Europe, he (Hudson) said, Australians "felt bereft and betrayed'. Australia was like an adult son having affairs (economically with Japan and militarily with the United States) but still living at home and, worse than kicking him out of the old home, mother was moving house and not taking him with her.
The Prime Minister said
In the 1990's, without the slightest disrespect to a country for which I have the greatest admiration, and to whose language and institutions I am a very grateful heir, I want to see us leave home...I believe the Oath of Allegiance sworn by new citizens at naturalisation ceremonies should proclaim unequivocally their loyalty to Australia and the things we believe Australia stands for-including liberty, tolerance, social justice-those very beliefs which underpin multiculturalism.(114)
28 June 1992 The Federal Opposition spokesman on Immigration, Mr Phillip Ruddock, indicated that the Opposition would resist any push by the Prime Minister to remove the reference to the Queen in the oath of allegiance sworn by new citizens. Mr Ruddock said that unless Australia became a republic, the oath of allegiance should remain to the Queen as Australia's head of state. He described the move as part of Mr Keating's 'Irish agenda' to turn Australia into a republic.(115)
29 June 1992 The Democrats leader, Senator John Coulter, said that he thought the Australian Democrats would take the view that a change to the oath, like the proposal for a new flag, should go to a plebiscite at the election.(116)
30 June 1992 The Australian editorial said that:
There is no firm reason why symbols obscuring the path of republicanism-which is clearly an evolutionary path-cannot be removed along the way...Unlike the constitutional oath of allegiance sworn to the Queen by Mr Keating and every member of the House of Representative or Senate-which would require a national referendum to amend-the citizenship oath comes under the Australian Citizenship Act and can be changed by the simpler method of legislative amendment. If Parliament so wishes, then let the Prime Minister begin to put his republican principles into practice(117)
2 July 1992 The national president of the RSL, Brigadier Alf Garland, said the League would 'oppose to the bitter end' Mr Keating's plans to change the flag and the oath of allegiance.(118)
8 July 1992 Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke said that:
it was inevitable that Australia would become a republic, probably even by 2001. But I'm damned it I'm going to waste any of my time, at this stage, getting my mind or my knickers in a knot about this issue...If we were a republic tomorrow, it would have no impact on the daily welfare of the men, women and children of this country.(119)
14 July 1992 The Clerk of the Senate, Harry Evans, said that the republicans wanted the constitutional system left as it was with the exception of a change in the head of state and that this showed that our constitutional system was in good shape.(120)
23 July 1992 At the first meeting of the Constitutional Centenary Foundation, the Attorney-General, Michael Duffy said that:
the public should be educated about the Constitution before any serious debate about becoming a republic. At the end of the day you are going to have to go back to the people on many of these issues and you won't succeed on that unless you have firstly discussion and education on the issues and, at the end of the day, bipartisanship.(121)
29 July 1992 A debate between the republicans and the constitutional monarchists was held at the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney and the Sydney Morning Herald described the debate as 'fighting in an extremely civilised manner. It may be a sign of Australian maturity.'(122)
23 August 1992 The Canberra Times editorial stated that
The latest shenanigans from the Royal family-albeit the younger in-laws-strike a blow at the heart of support for its retention at the head of the Australian system of government. The photographs of the Duchess of York cavorting semi-clad with her Texas friend which have been splashed around the world are sadly offensive even to the most died-in-the-wool promoter of the Royal connection.(123)
30 August 1992 At the annual conference of the Northern Territory Country-Liberal Party in Darwin, the leader of the Liberal Party, Dr John Hewson, and the Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, warned that a republic would be used by Labor to try to centralise power in a new office of the President of Australia.(124)
30 August 1992 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating indicated that he did not intend to push republicanism as an issue in the federal election and that a republic was 'years away'.(125)
30 September 1992 Mr Keating said in an interview for British television:
I think the Queen has been regarded as entirely conscientious and well-liked by Australians but they do wonder about the relevance of a constitutional arrangement which relies on the Queen of Australia being largely resident on the other side of the globe.(126)
16 October 1992 Media magnate Rupert Murdoch said that he always had sympathy with the republican debate. He said 'I think it's all happening. We don't have to get excited about it. Another generation, another 20 years or so, and it'll be over.'(127)
29 October 1992 A former secretary to the Governor-General, Sir David Smith, speaking at a conference at Parliament House said that 'Constitutional monarchy does not have to justify its continued existence, but rather it is up to those who wish to replace it to provide the reasons.'(128)
1 November 1992 A poll conducted by Quadrant Research showed that 49 per cent of people wanted the present system of Federal parliamentary government but with an Australian head of state chosen by both Houses of Parliament. twelve per cent favoured a change to the US system and 37 per cent wanted to continue with the present system retaining the Queen as head of state.(129)
14 November 1992 The Prime Minister, Mr Keating, expressed support for changes to the Oath of Citizenship to encourage a stronger sense of national identity. He also raised, for the first time, the possibility of an Australian head of state. He stressed that the Government was not pushing the issue but simply indicating that it should be debated.(130)
18 November 1992 A reader in Law at the University of Melbourne, Greg Craven, wrote that any proposal to convert Australia into a republic would be attended by three main constitutional complications. The first concerns the 'covering clauses' of the Constitution (that is the first eight sections of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act) which contain references to the monarchy. Section 128 is expressed to apply only to 'this Constitution' but section 9 of the Constitution Act has the effect that 'the Constitution' only begins after the covering clauses. There is thus an argument that the covering clauses cannot be amended under section 128. The second concerns the nature of the change to the Constitution. Section 128 does not permit changes that would vary the fundamental or essential character of the Constitution and the abolition of the monarchy would arguably be such a change. The third obstacle is that the constitutional systems of the Commonwealth and the States are quite separate. Australia effectively has not one but seven monarchies.(131)
19 November 1992 At a debate on the monarchy at Sydney University the question of religious discrimination was raised (the Act of Settlement 1701 requires the monarch to be an Anglican.) The question of sexual discrimination was also raised as males always supersede females in the succession.(132)
10 December 1992 The Prince and Princess of Wales separated. Liberal Senator Rod Kemp said that the 'royal marriage difficulties need not affect Australia's constitutional system because the powers of the Crown were exercised in this country by the Governor-General. His powers are derived from the Australian Constitution, not the monarch of the day'. Senator Schacht and Dr John Hirst argued that the stability and continuity for which the royal family once stood no longer applied.(133)
18 December 1992 Mr Keating announced Cabinet's decision to amend the Citizenship Act and the oath of allegiance. The new preamble to the Act would define citizenship as a common bond involving reciprocal rights and obligations uniting all Australians. The new oath would be:
From this time forward I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.
The previous oath or affirmation was to be 'faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, her heirs and successors according to the law, and I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.'(134)
20 December 1992 The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Bob McMullan, writing in the Canberra Times said:
I have long held the view, and expressed in previous articles, that Australia should have an Australian head of state selected under an Australian process determined by the Australian people. No independent nation can accept less.(135)
5 January 1993 The 25th annual convention of the national Young Liberals supported a referendum on republicanism after the next federal election but also supported the constitutional status quo in a series of motions supporting the monarchy, the flag and regular tours of Australia by the monarchy.(136)
24 February 1993 Prime Minister Keating, giving the Policy Launch Address for the 1993 Federal Election said:
It is perhaps in part because Australians are growing in confidence that more and more of them are questioning whether it is appropriate for Australia to have as its head of state the monarch of another country. Many Australians-some surveys suggest a majority-believe that we will be better able to succeed in the world with the unique and unambiguous identity which an Australian head of state, chosen by the Australian people, could provide. While it is far from the most pressing matter facing the nation, it is nevertheless important that we do not let this decade leading to the centenary of the Federation pass without advancing the debate. To do this we will set up a broadly based committee of eminent Australians, including representatives of the States, to develop a discussion paper which considers the options for a Federal Republic of Australia. Any options developed by the committee would not seek to change our way of government; only to have an Australian, chosen by Australians, as Australia's head of state. I would like to extend an invitation to the Opposition to participate in the workings of this committee. It would be the intention that as a result of this committee's deliberations and the public discussion that would follow, the Australian people would be in a position to decide by referendum later in the decade whether Australia should become a Republic by the year 2001.(137)
25 February 1993 National Party leader Tim Fischer said that Mr Keating's announcement was a last ditch effort to distract the public and that Mr Keating 'will not be in government when this issue needs to be addressed in three weeks' time.'(138)
25 February 1992 Opposition leader Dr John Hewson said that the Keating committee was unnecessary because former High Court judge and Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen already chaired a body examining possible changes to the constitution and that the republic was not an issue but a distraction.(139)
26 February 1993 Professor George Winterton wrote that the proposal for an Australian republic raised four main questions: What constitutional change would be required? How should the president be chosen? What powers should the president have? What should be done at State level?(140)
1 March 1993 The 'Squidgy' tape was played on Australian television.
4 March 1993 The Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, said that the Opposition would not stand in the way of a groundswell of opinion to make Australia a republic but warned that a shift to republicanism would involve more fundamental changes to government than so far discussed. He said that he was 'a strong defender of open and public debate on all these issues because I think they are very important. They're not the preserve of a politician to change...because in the end it has got to be the decision of the people.'(141)
13 March 1993 The Federal Election was won by the Australian Labor Party.
16 March 1993 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, said that he had put his vision of a republic to voters and been endorsed and that he would now move ahead with his plans for a referendum to sever constitutional links with Britain and create a republic by 2001.(142)
20 March 1993 Former NSW Premier Nick Greiner called on the Liberal Party to abandon the monarchy as an 'article of faith' and take a pro-active role in leading the republican debate. Mr Howard said that the Coalition had erred during the election campaign in ignoring republicanism.(143)
22 March 1993 Northern Territory Chief Minister Marshall Perron supported calls for a Liberal Party debate over moves to make Australia a Republic.(144)
27 March 1993 Dr Hewson said that he did not think that a republic was inevitable but that he thought that the debate was inevitable.
It's a debate we have to have. What I want is a specific proposal that I can express a view on. Right now, where there is no alternative proposal...I strongly support the debate about the Republic and Australia, but it's up to the Government to now tell us exactly what he's got in mind.(145)
28 March 1993 NSW Premier John Fahey said that 'It is inevitable that Australia would become a republic' and he proposed a national constitutional convention-to be called by Prime Minister Keating, to decide the issues this year. Mr Fahey's remarks on the issue were supported by Young Liberals at the NSW Liberal State Council meeting in Sydney.(146)
29 March 1993 Northern Territory Chief Minister Marshall Perron said that he had sought legal advice on the likely legal and political implications for the Territory in a new republic. He said that the community needed to embrace the republican debate and discuss directions for the Territory if republicanism was pursued by the Labor Federal Government. He described himself as a 'fencesitter', one who would neither support nor condemn the republican push.(147)
29 March 1993 National Party leader Tim Fischer said he remained a supporter of a constitutional monarchy but that if the people chose a republic, 'I'm an Australian first and I would accept that.'(148)
29 March 1993 The Opposition spokesman for Industrial Relations, John Howard, said that he would accept a republic if Australians voted for it although he was personally unconvinced of the need to move to a republic.(149)
29 March 1993 The NSW National Party Leader, Wal Murray, said support for the republic debate was repugnant and that he would vigorously oppose any move for a republic.(150)
29 March 1993 Western Australia Liberal Premier Richard Court, said 'John Fahey is entitled to his views. Western Australians are always suspicious of the thrust taken by the major states of Victoria and NSW because they have the most influence in our Federal system.' He also said that he was willing to go to a constitutional convention and that 'You wouldn't want to throw away a system that many other countries in the world would give anything to have in place.'(151)
30 March 1993 Queensland Labor Premier Wayne Goss announced plans to remove references to the Queen and the Crown from all state oaths, affirmations and legislation.(152)
30 March 1993 Tasmania's Liberal Premier, Ray Groom, said it was inevitable Australia would become a republic.(153)
30 March 1993 Victoria's Liberal Premier, Jeff Kennett, said that the republic was a 10th order issue.(154)
30 March 1993 South Australia's Labor Premier, Lynn Arnold, said that Australia should already be a republic.(155)
31 March 1993 A motion was passed in the NSW Lower House to:
endorse the Premier's public statement concerning the inevitability of an Australian republic and support community consultation and the holding of constitutional conventions as proposed by the Premier prior to the consideration by the Australian people, through a referendum, of any change to the form and structure of the constitution of Australia.(156)
31 March 1993 South Australia's Opposition leader, Dean Brown, became the first Liberal Party leader to declare his personal support for Australia becoming a republic.(157)
1 April 1993 Opposition spokesman for Industrial Relations John Howard issued a news release which said:
Gough Whitlam wants a future President of Australia to be elected by the same procedure which chooses the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. That's the system which gave us Leo McLeay! ... If the Whitlam formula is adopted we could end up with a party hack but without the constraints now applying to the office of Governor-General.(158)
13 April 1993 The Democrat's Senator Cheryl Kernot said that:
Australia must 'seize the day' of debate on any move towards republicanism and accompany it with major constitutional reform. The existing Commonwealth constitution is rigid outmoded and essentially undemocratic...Whether or not Australia becomes a republic, constitutional reform must occur for the protection of all Australians from excessively literalist constitutional interpretations.(159)
15 April 1993 The Australian Democrats leader, Senator John Coulter, warned that Australians should not rush into republicanism by setting arbitrary deadlines. 'A republic is both inevitable and desirable,' he said. 'But our Prime Minister is giving us the bum's rush, setting an arbitrary deadline in 2001 and talking of referendum questions as if the need to redefine our constitutional status were dire. It is not.'(160)
27 April 1993 A former Victorian Liberal Premier, Sir Rupert Hamer acknowledged that a republican Australia was both inevitable and, in a minimal form, desirable and agreed to become an adviser to the Republican Movement.(161)
26 April 1993 On PM, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Dr Michael Wooldridge, said that the Coalition did not rule out the possibility of bipartisan support for the Prime Minister's eminent persons' committee which will consider the republican issue, but that it was unlikely. Journalist Ellen Fanning also reported that the National Party leader, Tim Fischer had said that the Coalition should be cautious about participating in the eminent persons' committee.(162)
28 April 1993 The establishment of a Republic Advisory Committee was announced by Prime Minister Keating in his H. V. Evatt lecture. The committee's terms of reference were to examine the issues and develop an options paper describing the minimum constitutional changes necessary to achieve a viable federal republic of Australia, maintaining the effect of current conventions and principles of government, including the relationship between the Commonwealth and the States.'(163)
The committee was asked to address the following matters:
- The removal of all references to the monarch in the constitution.
- The need for and creation of a new office of head of state and consideration of what the office might be called.
- The provisions for the appointment and termination of appointment of the head of state including the method of selection and appointment, eg
selection and appointment by the government of the day
selection by the government and endorsement by both Houses of Parliament
appointment by an 'electoral college' comprising representatives of various parliaments
appointment following election by the Federal Parliament
- How the powers of the new head of state and their exercise can be made subject to the same conventions and principles which apply to the powers of the Governor-General.
- The nature of the amendments to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act required to implement the options.
- The implications for the States.
- Other aspects which arise in the Committee's deliberations and consultations providing they are relevant to the overall objective in the opening paragraph above.(164)
The chairman of the committee was lawyer Malcolm Turnbull and the six other members were former NSW Premier Nick Greiner; SBS presenter Mary Kostakidis; chairwoman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission Lois O'Donoghue; former Hawke Cabinet Minister Susan Ryan; and two academics, Dr John Hirst and Professor George Winterton. Two future members of the committee were to represent the States and Territories and the Opposition Leader, Dr Hewson, was invited to nominate a representative.(165)
28 April 1993 A new ministerial oath removing reference to the Queen was taken for the first time at the swearing in of the Attorney-General, Michael Lavarch. Mr Lavarch promised to 'well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia', instead of 'well and truly serve Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors, according to law'.(166)
29 April 1993 The Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, responded to the Prime Minister's announcement of the Republic Advisory Committee. He said that he formally committed the Liberal Party to a very active role in the debate but that it was important to recognise that the Liberal platform was committed to constitutional monarchy. It says:
Australian Liberalism means support for the constitutional monarchy and freedom for all under the rule of law. It supports the constitution not as a lifeless record of the compact of federation but as a living framework capable of development by discussion and consent.
He announced that that item would be on the agenda at the Federal Council meeting planned for early August to start the process of debate within the Party and he urged all of the party to play an active part in the debate.
Dr Hewson said that the Liberal Party could not support the Keating committee on the basis of its composition, its agenda or its deadlines and that he would not be nominating a representative. He denied that the committee was a genuine attempt at bipartisanship and said that it was a blatant political exercise. Dr Hewson also said that 'I have no doubt, given the shift of community attitudes and opinion, that the hardline monarchist position is out of touch with the realities of Australia today'.(167)
29 April 1993 The leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, said, by way of formal response to the Prime Minister's speech on the republic, that the Parliamentary National Party, the Victorian Conference and the Federal Management meeting of the National Party had all discussed the issue in detail and that 'All three key organisations of the National Party reaffirmed their strong support for a progressive constitutional monarchy.'(168)
30 April 1993 The National Party urged all Australians to think very carefully before tampering with the constitution and said that it would be playing a very active part in the debate about the republic. The National Party said that the 'so-called minimalist position' was far more radical than it may seem as the constitution, literally read, gives very wide powers to the Governor-General and only convention restricted the effective powers of the Governor-General. The leader of the National Party also warned that any referendum must be carried by all six States as all States would have to adopt consequential changes and amendments. If a particular State voted 'NO' the State Government and the Parliament would face a very real dilemma.
(W)e have a system under the Constitutional Monarchy which works extremely well. It is an important factor behind the tolerance and cohesion which have always been a hallmark of Australian society. To argue the case for a Republicanism, means arguing the case that it is a better alternative.(169)
30 April 1993 The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Richard Goodhew expressed cautious support for Australia becoming a republic.(170)
30 April 1993 The former leaders of the youth wings of the Liberal Party and the ALP made a joint appeal to Mr Keating to include young people in the republican debate.(171)
1 May 1993 The new leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Cheryl Kernot, attacked as a 'cop-out' the minimalist position advocated by the Prime Minister and called for the consideration of questions such as the role of the States in a republic, the prior occupation of the continent by Aborigines and the reserve powers of the Governor-General.(172)
1 May 1993 Sir Ninian Stephen said that the Constitutional Centenary Foundation would not prepare a specific options paper on a republic for the Federal Opposition, but the Foundation would examine the republic issue as part of a broader study on constitutional change in Australia. The inquiry could take up to four years and would be wider than the more narrowly focused Republican Advisory Committee.(173)
5 May 1993 A Liberal Party committee comprising Dr John Hewson, John Howard, Andrew Peacock, Rod Kemp, Senator Robert Hill, Daryl Williams and Andrew Robb was established to review the Liberal platform. The National Party announced that it would not be represented on the committee.(174)
5 May 1993 The Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett said that he wanted Professor Geoffrey Blainey to represent the States on the Prime Minister's Republic Advisory Committee.(175)
5 May 1993 An AGB McNair survey found that 83 per cent of Australians want to elect a president themselves, 53 per cent believed a future head of state should have a role with greater power, 38 per cent wanted the head of state to have a mainly ceremonial role and nine per cent did not know.(176)
5 May 1993 Mr Kennett told Parliament that while he privately believed Australia should remain a constitutional monarchy, it was important for the Victorian community to participate in the republican debate.(177)
7 May 1993 John Howard said that he would not 'commit suicide' if Australia becomes a republic tomorrow. 'I am an Australian above anything else. I always have been and I will die being an Australian before anything else. But that is not really the issue. It is a question of what is the better form of Government for the Australian people'.(178)
13 May 1993 The Republic Advisory Committee issued a 15 page issues paper designed to stimulate comment.(179)
21 May 1993 The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly held a formal debate on republicanism but no vote was taken on the issue. Most speakers supported republicanism of some kind (with the exception of MLA's Fred Finch and Rick Setter) but a motion supporting the Prime Minister's initiative failed on party lines.(180)
25 May 1993 The Prime Minister announced that Namoi Dougall and Dr Glyn Davis were appointed as the State/Territory Government representatives on the Republic Advisory Committee. All States and Territories were also invited to submit comments to the Committee in response to an Issues Paper released earlier in the month.(181)
14 May 1993 Dr Hewson told Parliament that 'key members of the ALP wanted to abolish the States and the Senate and water down the reserve powers of the head of state, not just replace the Queen with an Australian.'(182)
17 May 1993 Dr Hewson said the Federal Government would want to take Australia out of the Commonwealth if voters supported a republic.(183)
27 May 1993 Opposition frontbencher, Dr David Kemp, said that the Prime Minister's headlong rush toward a republic was driven by an obsessive hatred of the British origins of Australia's political institutions, law and language and risked dividing the nation. 'We do not need to deny our British heritage and its symbols in order to move beyond it into the future.'(184)
27 May 1993 The federal Liberal Party deputy leader, Dr Michael Wooldridge, said he suspected that Australia would become a republic during his lifetime but rejected that it was inevitable.(185)
28 May 1993 The inaugural meeting of the Republic Advisory Committee took place on 27 May 1993. The full committee was expected to meet four times before September when it was to deliver a report on options for a republic to the Government. Several public meetings were to be held in capital cities and country towns.(186)
4 June 1993 Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy appointed Tony Abbott, a former advisor to Dr Hewson, as its salaried executive director.(187)
5 June 1993 A former High Court Chief Justice, Sir Harry Gibbs, said that once the Office of President was established it would inevitably be politicised and that this would create a series of constitutional dangers, including the danger that the nation might proceed down the road to dictatorship.(188)
7 June 1993 The Republic Advisory Committee advised that they would visit Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba. Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Geelong, Albury, Perth, Bunbury, Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland, Darwin, Alice Springs, Whyalla, Adelaide, Canberra, Wagga, Tamworth, Lismore, Newcastle and Wollongong. Consultation would include public hearings wherever possible.(189)
9 June 1993 The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, assured the Commonwealth Secretary-General that an Australian republic would not leave the Commonwealth.(190)
13 June 1993 The Australian Republican Movement and the Australian Conservation Foundation launched a campaign to have the Queen's Birthday weekend abolished in favour of a national 'Wattle Day' in September.(191)
15 June 1993 The Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, said that support for a republic would depend on the Prime Minister Paul Keating and other advocates of constitutional change providing clear evidence existing arrangements were flawed, inappropriate and unworkable. He said the nation's freedom, independence and stability had to be protected and the onus put firmly on 'the proponents of constitutional change that they will not end up throwing the baby out with the bath water.'(192)
18 June 1993 The Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Peter Hollingworth, warned that Mr Keating's republican push risked dividing the nation and warned of the potential for providing a president with an undue amount of power. He also urged Australians to question whether republicanism was part of a political agenda.(193)
19 June 1993 A former Premier of NSW, Nick Greiner, warned the Liberal Party that 'if we go to the 1996 election saying 'vote for us, we will continue to ensure that there is no move to a republic', then in my view that is a large step towards losing the election. He said a republic was supported by at least two Liberal Premiers and a significant section of the parliamentary Liberal Party.(194)
20 June 1993 At the NSW National Party State Conference in Wagga Wagga, Tim Fischer said:
The Republic debate...is on the national agenda and I have been very proud of the National Party's steadfast and resolute role. I am confident that the National Party will continue to provide a sheet anchor role in this debate, it our duty to do so. We as a party know where we stand on this issue. We oppose Keating's republic.(195)
22 June 1993 The President of the WA Liberal Party, Bill Hassell, told the Bulletin:
that he was personally committed not to the concept of nationhood or one indissoluble Australia but to a belief that WA would be far better off in a dozen ways if it was separate...It need not mean a state of war with the eastern states It could be a perfectly co-operative relationship like the one Australia has with New Zealand.(196)
23 June 1993 A former Premier of NSW, Nick Greiner warned fellow members of the Liberal Party that they risked handing Prime Minister Keating a 'powerful weapon at the next election if they continued to oppose a republic'. He said that it was open to Senator Bronwyn Bishop, John Howard, and Peter Reith to take a 'short-term political win' by killing off the republic but that it would be a 'pyrrhic' victory.(197)
30 June 1993 The leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, in an interview with Peter Couchman, said that it was not a mistake not to have joined the Turnbull Committee as that was not a 'bipartisan attempt to deal with a difficult issue' and that the so called minimal approach was a furphy.(198)
2 July 1993 Australians for Constitutional Monarchy held a meeting at Sydney Town Hall to commemorate the centenary of the Central Federation League. The speakers were Sir Harry Gibbs, Dame Leonie Kramer and Lloyd Waddy QC.(199)
5 July 1993 A Victorian federal MP, Lindsay Tanner, of the left wing of the ALP, rejected Mr Keating's minimalist approach and said that the 'focus of the Left's position in this debate should be the assertion of the principles of democracy-not the nationalist crusade for independence from Britain.' He also said that the States were outdated and that there should be a Bill of Rights.(200)
8 July 1993 Opposition spokesman on Industrial Relations, John Howard, addressed the 46th Annual Council of the Australian Liberal Students' Federation. He said:
My opposition to an Australian republic is a happy amalgam of personal conviction and political judgement...By all means those in the Liberal Party who genuinely believe a republic would be in Australia's long term interests should argue their case both internally and externally.(201)
8 July 1993 Blinky Bill was officially unveiled at a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the Australian Republican Movement as the movements national treasure, standard bearer and icon.(202)
10 July 1993 The Australian Conservation Foundation said that the Republic Advisory Committee should examine a wide range of constitutional reforms including the issue of State and federal rights in relation to the environment.(203)
10 July 1993 The Liberal Party's Federal Executive 'killed off moves to change the party's constitution, which supports the monarchy.'(204)
11 July 1993 The Federal President of the Young Liberals, Trent Zimmerman, said that Liberals should be free to follow their consciences on whether they supported the push for an Australian republic. The Young Liberal leaders drafted a resolution to be put to the Party's Federal Council meeting in August proposing that the republican issue be a conscience matter for members.(205)
14 July 1993 The Australian Chamber of Commerce chief executive said that the republican debate should be widened to include state and federal powers in relation to industrial relations, educations, job training, immigration and land rights.(206)
19 July 1993 The Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, in its submission to the Prime Minister's Republican Advisory Committee, said that there were strong reasons to think that a referendum would be ineffective to cut links with the crown and to turn Australia into a republic as the preamble to the Constitution declares that the purpose of the document is to establish 'one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the crown.' The submission argued that the federal compact might not survive the elimination of this fundamental condition and that minimal change was not viable.(207)
19 July 1993 Seventy-nine per cent of Australians questioned said that they wanted a republican head of State to be elected by popular vote. (208)
21 July 1993 An Age editorial said that the constitutional changes required for Australia to become a republic would not be minimal and that those Australians who supported a move to a republic needed to understand this.(209)
22 July 1993 The Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court, announced that within a month he would appoint a committee of eminent West Australians to examine the ramifications for WA of the Federal Government's push to a republic. He said that members would be drawn from different sides of politics and different age groups.(210)
25 July 1993 The Federal Government instructed the Governor-General not to forward any more requests to use the prefix 'royal' to Buckingham Palace for approval.(211)
25 July 1993 The Nationals' Senate leader, Ron Boswell, told delegates at the National Party's State Conference in Brisbane that:
If Paul Keating has his way, Australia will soon have a new Constitution, giving all real power to the national government. The States will be little more than administrators of policies set in Canberra-if they exist at all. He said that the National Party wants nothing to do with the Prime Minister's push to make Australia a republic.(212)
26 July 1993 Delegates to the Victorian and the Western Australian branches of the Liberal Party, at their annual conferences, passed resolutions rejecting the republic.(213)
30 July 1993 Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, in an address to the Samuel Griffith Society in Melbourne entitled 'The Crown and the States', said that section 128 of the Federal Constitution was unsuited to the task of removing the monarchy because 'The Constitution' was not an Act but clause 9 of The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900. Thus 'without some imaginative interpretation' section 128 might amend 'the Constitution' but not the covering clauses of the Act - clauses 1 to 8. Since the passing of the Australia Acts 1986 the United Kingdom could not alter those provisions and amendment would require the unanimous participation of State Parliaments. A second difficulty was that the Crown was implicit in the constitution and it was arguable that to remove the Crown was not to amend the constitution but to change it for another and that this could not be done by section 128. The third legal barrier concerned the position of State Constitutions and State Governors.
31 July 1993 Prime Minister Keating, in a speech at the Corowa Shire Council Centenary Dinner at the Corowa RSL Club said 'I am for a republic. Not because I am against Britain-I like Britain very much...Nor am I against the British monarch...Nor am I against the British Commonwealth of Nations...Nor am I for the republic because I am against the States...I am for the republic not for what I am against, but what I am for; not for what a republic will throw away, but for what a republic can deliver: It can deliver a new sense of unity and national pride in which Australians of this and future generations can share...In the end, as with Federation, it will be the people of Australia who decide.'
1 August 1993 The leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Cheryl Kernot, said there were valid arguments for abolishing the States and replacing them with regional governments and that the Democrats were setting up a Task Force to examine possible models for a two-tier system of government. Senator Kernot also said that the Constitutional debate should be widened to include a Bill of Rights, appropriate/democratic electoral systems and the role of Upper Houses, especially the right to block supply.(214)
9 August 1993 A Saulwick Age Poll found that in the four months since the last poll, support for the monarchy had gone up four points to 34 per cent. Support for Australia becoming a republic dropped correspondingly four points to 62 per cent.(215)
16 August 1993 The Australian Republican Movement submission to the Republic Advisory Committee said that
All references to the monarch must be removed from the Australian Constitution.
The term president should be used for the new, non-executive head of State, who should be separate from the government.
The only qualification for appointment should be Australian citizenship.
The president should be elected by a two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament.
The reserve powers of the president should be codified.
The future of the Governors should be decided by each State.
The Constitution should be rewritten in plain English.(216)
17 August 1993 The NSW Young Liberal Movement said that 'Young Liberals, as young Australians, see our nation's future as a republic' and that 'Our Constitution must recognise Australia's identity into the 21st century and beyond.' They said that they hoped that 'the parliamentary party will now reconsider its position and support the republic'.(217)
28 August 1993 The NSW Treasurer, Peter Collins, said it was Australia's destiny to become a republic. 'Australians should be embarrassed by the "distant devotion of Anglophiles" to the British monarchy, Mr Collins said. The rest of the world must find it bizarre that Australians were resisting their "natural and inevitable destiny" to form a republic.'(218)
30 August 1993 The Liberal Party Federal Council refused to allow party members a conscience vote on the republic and said that:
it had confidence in Australia's existing constitutional system, but that no Australian institution was immutable. While entering into the debate constructively we are totally opposed to the hidden agenda that Labor has in supporting the move to a republic, including its long-term plans to undermine the power of the states, to abolish the Senate, change the flag, and eliminate the reserve power of the Governor-General, the motion declared.(219)
30 August 1993 Mr Keating said that he was not interested in becoming president. 'It's a position I would never accept,' he said. 'Having been Prime Minister, it would not be right to look over another PM's shoulder. Such delusions would only compromise my effectiveness in trying to spirit this change through.'(220)
30 August 1993 Author Tom Keneally, actor Kym Wilson and designer Jenny Kee 'launched' the wattle as an Australian Republican Movement symbol in the Royal Botanic Gardens.(221)
31 August 1993 The ACTU congress supported the Federal Government's push for Australia to become a republic and called for unions to play an active role in the republican debate.(222)
7 September 1993 On the eve of Prime Minister Keating's visit to Britain, senior British sources made it clear that the republican debate was a matter for Australia and that they hoped the visit would strengthen ties between the two countries.(223)
9 September 1993 The Labor Premier of South Australia, Lynn Arnold, announced the State Government's support for a Republic of Australia and support for a republican system in the State.(224)
13 September 1993 The Governor-General was interviewed by former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and asked about whether the way the position of President was filled would have 'a considerable significance on the likely discharge of the position?' Mr Hayden replied:
Absolutely. I will risk my arm by going further as Governor-General, and say this: the present system works well. It allows us to have stable government in this country because the head of state is aware of the restraints under which he must function. They are understood all round and they have worked since Federation quite effectively. If we move away from that and there is no restraint, then my apprehension would be that we could go through periods-intense periods sometimes-of quite unstable government. Now I am sure that the people who are interested at a policy making level in the direction of a Republic, are aware of this because it is obvious. But there is a potential obstruction to transferring the system from what it is now, to the same sort of system with a President as head of state, appointed in the same way as now. And that is that overwhelmingly the opinion polls show that the public-between 70 and 80 per cent of them, which is much higher than those who want a Republic-want to select a President themselves. That is inherently a problem.(225)
15 September 1993 A survey of federal parliamentarians found that 66 per cent favoured a republic, including 98 per cent of the ALP and 26 per cent of the Coalition. The survey also recorded 60 per cent of voters in all States supported a republic including a majority in all States.(226)
18 September 1993 Prime Minister Keating had an audience with the Queen at Balmoral Castle. He issued a press release which stated that he had:
explained to Her Majesty that, notwithstanding the deep respect and warm affection felt towards her by the Australian people, there was a growing feeling that Australia should make the necessary constitutional changes to allow the appointment of an Australian head of state. I said such a move was seen as necessary to establish clearly Australia's identity as an independent nations...The Australian Government's view was that, if approved by the Australian people at a referendum, it would be appropriate for Australia to become a republic by the centenary of Federation in 2001. I told Her Majesty that, in such a situation, Australia would remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and that the Australian people would warmly welcome visits to Australia by Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth and as the Queen of the United Kingdom. Her Majesty authorised me to say that she would, of course, act on the advice of her Australian Ministers, as she always has, and on any decision made by the Australian people.(227)
27 September 1993 At the end of a two week overseas trip, Mr Keating, said that the Sydney Olympics in September 2000 should be opened by an Australian head of state. 'I think the world would wonder, would they not, if Australia's Games are opened by the constitutional head of another nation,' Mr Keating said on Channel Nine's Sunday program.(228)
29 September 1993 The Prime Minister announced that Prince Charles would visit NSW, Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland from 25 January 1994. He said that he had issued the invitation for the visit during his meeting with the Queen at Balmoral.(229)
29 September 1993 The latest Newspoll figures showed that 46 per cent of Australians favoured a republic, 36 per cent were against it and 18 per cent were uncommitted.(230)
29 September 1993 The Prime Minister said in question time that
My views on the flag have been known for a very long period of time and that is the symbols of this nation and its identity ought to be clear to all Australians and the rest of the world. And that's why I believe Australia should move towards an Australian head of State and, naturally in the course of that, all of the symbols of our national identity will change with it.(231)
1 October 1993 The Senate passed a citizenship oath in the following terms:
From this time forward (under God) I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people whose democratic beliefs I share whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.
The old pledge was in the following terms
I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.(232)
5 October 1993 The Republic Advisory Committee reported that:
(t)he only constitutional change...required to make Australia a completely republican system of government is to remove the monarch...In order to replace the monarch with a republican head of state, the Constitution would need to be amended in only three substantive ways:
establishing the office of a new Australian head of state (including the method of appointment and removal);
providing for the powers of the head of state; and
providing for the States.(233)
The committee concluded that there was much to be said for a national figure who could represent the nation as a whole, both to Australians and to the rest of the world.
The committee said that leaving the appointment of the head of state to the Government of the day is the option which most closely reflects the current practice but that it may be viewed as a partisan practice if left to the Prime Minister alone. If the people were involved through their parliamentary representatives there are a number of issues to be resolved in relation to voting and the nomination of candidates. The committee said that while popular election is democratic, it may encourage the head of state to believe that he or she has a popular mandate to exercise the powers of that office.
The committee was of the view that if popular election is chosen as the method of selecting the head of state, then if the effect of our current conventions and principles of government is to be maintained, the Constitution should be amended so as clearly to define and delimit the powers of the head of state.
The committee was of the view that there were no strong reasons why a new head of state should not continue to exercise the same kind of 'government' functions on the advice of the Government of the day as were presently exercised by the Governor-General. However, in order to eliminate any uncertainty, the constitution should provide that in the exercise of these powers the head of state acts on ministerial advice. In relation to the reserve powers the committee said that some attempt to codify the reserve powers in the interests of political certainty should be made.
In relation to the States, the committee accepted the conclusion of the Acting Solicitor-General that in order to minimise legal debate on these matters it would be sensible for amendments creating a republic to deal specifically with the position of the States. The committee concluded that Australia could become a republic and that the States could be left free to choose their own course.
In an accompanying press release the committee said that the report 'demonstrates that a republic is achievable without threatening Australia's cherished democratic traditions'.
5 October 1993 The Prime Minister received the report of the Republic Advisory Committee (the Turnbull Report). Mr Keating advised that the Government did not have a timetable for a republic but hoped to see a republican structure in place by the turn of the century and that it was essential that people have time to consider the issues. The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of a small working party of senior Ministers to consider the issues and develop a paper for cabinet in the first half of 1994. The working party included Gareth Evans, Kim Beazley, Michael Lavarch, Graham Richardson, Ros Kelly and Frank Walker.
5 October 1993 Following the release of the Turnbull report, Opposition leader John Hewson said that the real question was not how we achieve change but whether such change was either warranted or desirable.(234)
5 October 1993 The Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) issued a press release which described the Turnbull Report as fundamentally flawed because:
- It presupposes that a republic is the only option to our present monarchy.
- The process of proceeding by committee approved and funded by Mr Keating was wrong in principle when every citizen's vote is equal to every other! The musings of the elite are not a substitute for the voice of the people.
- The report is vast in length-far from the simple changes with TIPPEX we were told were possible, the incidental changes needed are vast, legally complex and highly contentious, apart from the major question of, "Why change at all?"
ACM also raised the position of some States that wished to remain monarchies and said that the 'very length of the report belies its bland assurances that change is "easy".'(235)
11 October 1993 A poll published in the Bulletin magazine found that 48 per cent of people (up three points) believed Australia should become a republic, 42 per cent (up six points) opposed such a change and 10 per cent were undecided.(236)
23 October 1993 Addressing the Commonwealth leaders in Limassol, the Queen said:
Nowadays, I have enough experience, not least in racing, to restrain me from laying any money down on how many countries will be in the Commonwealth in 40 years time, who they will be, and where the meeting will be held. I will certainly not be betting on how many of you will have the head of the Commonwealth as your head of State. I suppose that the only reasonably safe bet is that there will be three absentees - Prince Phillip, Britannia and myself.(237)
The Queen also said:
In a family of 50 [nations], it is hardly surprising if some of you have constitutional problems at home to resolve. To those who have I wish you well.(238)
24 October 1993 A Herald Sun survey found that 77 per cent of readers were against Australia becoming a republic and 23 per cent were in favour.(239)
3 November 1993 Australians for Constitutional Monarchy wrote to the Prime Minister attaching a legal opinion by Sir Harry Gibbs which questioned some of the assumptions of the Turnbull Report. The opinion was also signed by Justice Ken Handley of the NSW Court of Appeal, ex-Supreme Court Justices Jack Lee and David Yeldam, Professor Ivan Shearer and other members of the Legal Committee of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. In Sir Harry's opinion, the Turnbull report was wrong to suggest that the legal complexities of becoming a republic were readily soluble. The opinion states that abolishing the monarchy in all the States would require a change in the Australia Act which would require the agreement of all the States which would be almost impossible to obtain. Sir Harry also said that there was 'another, deeper question of political principle at stake'-The Australian people agreed to federate under the Crown and if that bond is to be extinguished 'there must be a new agreement to unite'.(240)
6 November 1993 Opposition spokesman on Industrial Relations, John Howard, addressed the Samuel Griffiths Society Conference in Fremantle. He said
Paul Keating is the first Australian Prime Minister to openly and consistently advocate turning Australia into a republic. He is Australia's best known republican.
Therefore, his views on the subject and the nature of his participation in the debate are crucial. Suggestions that the republican debate be de-politicised are both naive and illogical.
This is all the more so as the Prime Minister has sought since this debate began, to politicise Australian patriotism...
It is neither reactionary nor old-fashioned to adopt the Burkean view that institutions should not be discarded unless they have clearly failed...
Although the republican momentum has slowed, it would be foolish to think for a moment that the debate has been won.
I suspect it has entered a long, lethargic stage. That is worse news for republicans than for those opposed to change.
Australians no longer see the change to a republic as a simple thing without risk. There is greater recognition of the complexity of change...
As we move to the next phase of the debate, there are two lines of argument which the defenders of the present Constitution should further emphasise and develop.
The first of these is the simple and positive argument that the present arrangements for a head of state deliver better than any alternative available under a republic a politically neutral head of state...
The other argument which should be more strenuously developed is to draw attention to the way in which an almost ritualistic use of the external affairs power by the present government is bit by bit handing over Australian sovereignty to foreign committees and institutions.(241)
14 November 1993 Senator Rod Kemp asked Senator Gareth Evans whether the Government planned to make Australia a republic by 2000. Senator Evans replied that 'It is still the plan of the Government to generate a sensible and intelligent debate on it and to encourage others to do likewise, with that (change by 2000) being the result that we hope will emerge from it, but we will have to wait and see.'(242)
17 November 1993 The Australian reported that Justice Michael Kirby, President of the NSW Court of Appeal, at the launch of the South Australian Council of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, said that a republic could cause a destabilising tension between president and prime minister instead of the prime minister being the 'undisputed top dog'. Justice Kirby rejected the 'inevitability' of a republic and 'the call back into the bosom of primitive South Seas nationalism...it is so passe.'
19 November 1993 The Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Senator Nick Bolkus, argued that it was inevitable that Australia would become a republic. The inevitability was based on the changing world environment and the fundamental change that had taken place in Australia through immigration.(243)
28 December 1993 The Morgan poll showed that 44 per cent of Australians thought Australia should become a republic (down eight points since April), 48 per cent wanted a monarchy (up 10 points) and eight per cent were undecided (down two points).(244)
26 January 1994 Prince Charles, who had arrived in Sydney for a tour on 24 January, gave an Australia Day speech. He said that whether Australia became a republic or not was something only Australians could decide. He said it was not surprising there were those who would wish for a change in Australia's institution, adding 'and perhaps they are right'. 'By the very nature of things it is not surprising that there are differing views-some people will doubtless prefer the stability of a system that has been reasonably well tried and tested over the years, while others will see real advantages in doing things differently,' he said. 'The point I want to make here, and for everyone to be perfectly clear about, is that this is something which only you-the Australian people-can decide. Personally, I happen to think that it is the sign of a mature and self-confident nation to debate those issues and to use the democratic process to re-examine the way in which you want to face the future'.(245)
7 February 1994 Prince Charles's private secretary, Commander Richard Aylard, said that 'The prince would not regard it in any way as a personal failure or tragedy if [Australians] do vote for a republic.'(246)
17 February 1994 Labor frontbencher Kim Beazley, in the inaugural Sir John Monash Lecture at Monash University, said that the debate needed to focus on the functions of the head of state, that there were strong arguments that the reserve powers should be codified and that '[w]e need a more broadly based procedure to select our Governor-General' which involved some more direct expression of national opinion.(247)
31 March 1994 The new head of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Kerry Jones, called on Australian women to join the fight to retain the Queen as head of state.(248)
9 April 1994 Mr Justice Terry Higgins of the Federal and ACT Supreme Courts said that the introduction of a republic was possible by legislative amendment of the Crown Act, replacing references to the Queen, the Crown and the Governor-General with another office holder. Justice Higgins said that while such legislation was possible, it would create a furore and would be politically unacceptable. 'It would be preferable to do it by referendum and constitutional amendments,' he said.(249)
15 April 1994 The federal Attorney-General, Michael Lavarch, suggested that the rules governing the monarchy breached human rights, in that royal succession discriminated against women by favouring the oldest male child over older female children and the rule that the monarch should be a member of the Church of England discriminated on religious grounds. The national convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Lloyd Waddy, QC, said that Mr Lavarch had raised 'old issues' settled by popular vote at Federation.(250)
16 May 1994 The ACT Opposition Leader, Kate Carnell, called for a two-part referendum on the republic. The first question would be 'Do you want the present constitutional monarchy or change to a federal republic?' The second question would ask how people wanted the head of state chosen: popular election, two-thirds of a federal joint sitting or two-thirds of a joint federal and state parliamentary sitting. She thought a republic was inevitable and objected to the present religious and sex-discrimination in the selection of the present head of state.(251)
23 May 1994 Alexander Downer became Opposition Leader, defeating Dr Hewson at a special meeting of the Parliamentary party.
27 May 1994 The Opposition Leader, Alexander Downer, told the SBS 'Dateline' program that:
The reason I'm not in favour of a republic is that the change from our existing system to a republic would just, frankly, be far too complex. I don't think in the end it will be easy at all...to rewrite the Australian Constitution. If it is ever to happen, I don't think a Labor Government would ever find it easy to do. That's why, if you look at the history of constitutional reform in Australia, it's the Liberal Party not the Labor Party that's delivered it.(252)
15 June 1994 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, said that he did not think the issues of changing the flag and the republic had to go together. 'I have got an opinion on the flag but I don't have a plan for the flag,' Mr Keating said on Nine Network's A Current Affair.(253)
27 June 1994 Prince Charles said that he would rather be seen as 'the defender of faith' than 'defender of the faith'. On the 25th anniversary of his investiture as Prince of Wales, he said 'I happen to believe that the Catholic subjects of the sovereign are as important as Protestants, not to mention the Islamic, Hindu and Zoroastrian'.(254)
30 June 1994 London newspapers proclaimed doom for the Royal Family as a result of Prince Charles admitting that he had cheated on his wife, the Princess of Wales. The Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarch, Tony Abbott expressed disappointment with Prince Charles's comments but dismissed the idea that Royal misdeeds had an impact on the republican debate. Support for the institution was not the same as supporting the office-holder, he said.(255)
4 July 1994 Andrew Parker a former advisor to Dr Hewson, confirmed that the Liberal Party had a secret cell of 100 members called the New Republic who were dedicated to opposing the official pro-monarchy party line in favour of an Australian republic. The group was said to be working closely with the chief executive officer of the Australian Republican Movement, Mark Ryan, on ways to encourage high profile 'closet Liberal republicans' to come out and voice their support for a republic.(256)
6 July 1994 The Australian Liberal Students Federation confirmed the commitment of the Liberal Students for the present constitutional arrangements and said that their organisation represented more than three times the number of NSW Young Liberals in the State than the NSW Young Liberals.(257)
6 July 1994 Former Liberal leader John Hewson denounced internal criticism of Liberal republicans as 'McCarthy-like' and reminiscent of a 'Gestapo state', describing suggestions that they were disloyal as ridiculous.(258)
6 July 1994 Mr Downer said he was happy to debate the constitutional changes required to establish an Australian republic but that he did not think such changes were worth the bother or the effort.(259)
6 July 1994 It was reported that more than half of the NSW Liberal Ministry backed the push for an Australian republic or considered it inevitable. In a Herald survey of the 20 members of the Cabinet, only Ethnic Affairs Minister Michael Photios openly supported retaining the monarchy.(260)
7 July 1994 It was further reported that more than half the Liberals in the federal shadow Cabinet appeared to believe that Australia would inevitably become a republic. More than half of the South Australian Cabinet either supported a republic or believed it was inevitable, the Tasmanian Cabinet was evenly divided, the West Australian Cabinet was unanimously opposed to a republic. In Victoria only the Premier and two ministers were prepared to express an opinion, and that was to oppose a republic.(261)
7 July 1994 Opposition leader Alexander Downer reaffirmed that the Opposition was prepared to debate any detailed proposal by the Federal Government for a republic. But he did not accept the inevitability of it happening and was personally opposed to the change. Mr Downer said the constitution had delivered extraordinary political stability and the change which would be necessary to establish a republic would create massive upheaval and division.(262)
8 July 1994 The ACT Liberal leader, Ms Kate Carnell, accused the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy of using threatening tactics against her because she was perceived as being pro-republican. Ms Carnell described herself as an emotional republican but an intellectual constitutional monarchist. It was suggested that Australians for Constitutional Monarchy would vote against her in the ACT election if she did not support the monarchy. Ms Carnell said the debate about a republic had been hijacked by Mr Keating in an attempt to centralise power. 'Hence, although I maintain an open mind on the question of a republic, I would vote no to a Keating style republic', she said.(263)
9 July 1994 It was reported that the Government's blue-print for a republic was not going to be available for up to five years. Instead the Government's response to the Turnbull report was to be a discussion paper that canvassed options and was due for release before the end of the year. The aim of the discussion paper would be to stimulate debate.(264)
9 July 1994 Mr Downer said that the Turnbull report only put forward a range of options for a republic but made no specific recommendation and that Mr Keating was apparently planning to produce yet more options. Mr Downer said that Mr Keating 'must reveal his real agenda for a republic to Australians.'(265)
9 July 1994 Former Victorian Premier Sir Rupert Hamer launched the Australian Republican Movement branch in Ballarat, the first outside the capital cities. He said that he was 'on public record as believing that Australia will eventually have its own head of state.(266)
11 July 1994 Opposition Leader Alexander Downer was quoted as saying that 'With greater maturity you understand that it [the Royal family] is not the issue'. 'The issue is the constitution. They're irrelevant to it. That is a red herring.' He was also quoted as saying 'The Queen of England doesn't mean anything to most people in Australia. "Quaint, nice woman and all that, but English"'. Mr Downer subsequently denied that he had described the Queen as quaint and said 'the Governor-General is the de facto head of state of the country and the Queen is only in a very theoretical sense the head of state...This is a debate about rewriting the Australian Constitution. It will, in the end, be a choice between our present constitution and a rewritten constitution. It's not a debate about the Royal family or the personalities of the Royal family.'(267)
12 July 1994 Prime Minister Paul Keating said that Mr Downer had failed to stand by his view that the monarchy was 'the foundation stone' of the constitution".(268)
13 July 1994 The Australian Democrats called for the republican debate to be broadened to include a shake-up in power sharing between all levels of governments and redrawing of state boundaries. After a poll of members, Democrats Leader Cheryl Kernot declared the party was officially pro-republican. She said that an Australian head of state should be elected by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Parliament to prevent a partisan figure from winning the position through popular election.(269)
18 July 1994 The federal Coalition said that it would not unveil any policy on a republic until after the Prime Minister released details of his own plans for constitutional change.(270)
25 July 1994 Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser suggested that a republic was inevitable. He cited as reasons the behaviour of the heirs to the British throne and the attitude of young Australians. He said that the Australian Constitution would need to be almost entirely rewritten if the country became a republic but that this was no reason to shy away from the issue.(271)
31 July 1994 The NSW Division of the Liberal Party passed a motion reaffirming support for the 1993 Federal Council resolution on the Constitution/Republic. That resolution expressed respect and confidence in the existing constitutional system which 'has worked extremely well and delivered political stability to Australia for nearly a century'. The Council said that they would enter into and be fully involved in the debate but that the Labor Party has put the question of a republic on the national agenda without making a compelling case for change and that it is the Government's responsibility to provide a compelling case against the existing arrangements and an equally compelling case for any alternative.(272)
1 August 1994 The Opposition spokesman on Industrial Relations, John Howard, said that the republic was a federal issue and the actions of State Liberals should not undermine those of the Federal Coalition. He said that those who supported changing the constitution could argue within the party forums that the party should change its policy, but that once the policy was set they were obliged to assent to it.(273)
6 August 1994 In a speech to Melbourne University students, Prime Minister Keating said that Australia needed an appropriate head of state who stood unambiguously for Australia, and who stood for the things Australians believed in. He said that in the 1950's the British monarchy constituted a significant element of Australia's national sentiment and national cohesion and that the British monarchy commanded great respect, affection and loyalty as Australian head of state.
But there is no denying that the British monarchy no longer commands that respect, affection and loyalty...It is equally true that our interests have grown increasingly away from those of Great Britain and that the proportion of our population who have come from non-English -speaking backgrounds has dramatically increased. And it is just as true that these trends will continue.(274)
17 August 1994 The Australian Constitutional Monarchy, published by Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy was launched. The book, edited by Gareth Grainger and Kerry Jones, contained essays by the President of the NSW Court of Appeal Justice Michael Kirby, a former Chief Justice of the High Court Sir Harry Gibbs, former Queensland Senator Neville Bonner and others.
22 August 1994 NSW Young Liberals passed three motions urging consideration and debate about a republic at their national convention.(275)
29 August 1994 Former Opposition leader Dr John Hewson said that the Liberal Party would become irrelevant unless it constructively considered the possibility of constitutional reform including changing the head of state. He said that under the influence of John Howard and NSW Liberal backbencher Tony Abbott, there was 'basically a nod and a wink to say we ain't moving on constitutional reform...Maybe we can put up alternatives to Keating on the republic. If we take a hard-line absolute defence of the monarchy, we will be seen as irrelevant in Australia.'(276)
30 August 1994 South Australian Liberal Senator Baden Teague became the first Liberal during the present debate to use Parliament to call for an Australian head of state. He said:
I strongly believe that we should see a constitutional change that would see an Australian head of state. Accordingly I think it is quite inappropriate that Australia has as head of state, a foreigner, a person who is not a citizen of Australia and who has prior allegiances to the United Kingdom or in fact a range of allegiances to some 12 or 14 countries, he said. The time has come, I believe, for an Australian citizen to be the head of state of Australia and for that person to have no other allegiances but to Australia. In that way, our national symbol, vested in the head of state, will be directly reflecting our independence and sovereignty as the Australia nation.(277)
1 September 1994 The National President of the ALP, Mr Barry Jones, told the National Press Club that the 'minimalist republic' was 'dead and buried' 18 months ago and that he wanted a bolder recipe in which the Constitution was amended essentially to reflect the reality of the exercise of power.'(278)
7 October 1994 Dame Joan Sutherland addressed a lunch organised by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and said:
I was brought up having a British passport and it upsets me that I don't have a British passport now...When I go to the post office to be interviewed by a Chinese or an Indian-I'm not particularly racist-but I find it ludicrous, when I've had a passport for 40 years'. She said I think it would be a great shame to go to all that trouble of changing to a republic to find that it doesn't work. Why bother?(279)
8 October 1994 The Federal Government postponed until at least early next year, an announcement of its preferred options for an Australian republic. Mr Keating said that 'pressure of work' meant that he was unable to deal with the response this year, but vowed to 'say something about it in the life of this Parliament'.(280)
3 November 1994 According to a Herald Saulwick poll, 45 per cent of those who intended to vote Liberal at the next election said they supported an Australian republic within the Commonwealth and 42 per cent supported the retention of the Queen as head of state. Nine per cent of Liberal voters said they supported a republic outside the Commonwealth. Fifty-two per cent of National Party voters supported a republic and 47 per cent supported keeping the monarchy. The poll found 66 per cent support for a republic-either within or outside the Commonwealth, an increase of three percentage points since the last poll in February. 31 per cent of voters supported the retention of the monarchy, a fall of four percentage points since February.(281)
10 November 1994 Opposition Leader Alexander Downer said that:
(W)e believe in holding a 'People's Convention' where Australians will be able to express their views about the future of our Constitution, and can participate in the progressive evolution of the Australian Constitution...we would place tremendous importance on the People's Convention ... and take extraordinarily seriously any recommendations it came forward with...The only way you will ever achieve Constitutional change in this country-and we've seen this since 1901 ...is by building a national consensus. And that is precisely what we're proposing to do in relation to the evolution of our Constitution...I'll announce the details of how the Constitutional Convention will work in the fullness of time which will be towards the, or at the end of next week...(282)
11 November 1994 The Leader of the National Party said the party would continue to stand in strong defence of the Australian Constitution, against the government's plans for a republic.
There are certainly aspects of our Constitution which deserve review-the foreign affairs powers of the Commonwealth in regard to international treaties for a start-but that is a long way from making wholesale change to a republic, Mr Fischer said. Nor should we allow ourselves to be sidelined in silly arguments about the behaviour of the Royal Family. There is a legitimate place for debate and discussion about our Constitution as we approach its centenary, but it is a domestic debate, Mr Fischer said.(283)
19 November 1994 The Leader of the Opposition, Alexander Downer, announced further details of his proposal for a constitutional convention. If the Coalition were elected, the convention would be elected in 1997 to 'conduct a 100 year review of the Australian Constitution'. Half of its delegates would be elected by the community and the other half appointed 'by virtue of the elected positions that they already hold'. Special encouragement would be given to young people, women and people of ethnic background to stand. The convention would be asked to look at the role of the head of state in the constitution, including implications of change for the role of the States; the allocation of legislative and executive powers and functions between Federal and State Governments, including areas of overlap and duplication: the use of the external affairs power, and four-year terms. Mr Downer promised that a coalition government would put significant recommendations approved by a broad consensus of the convention to a referendum but he noted that the Government would 'reserve the right to campaign for or against any referendum proposal'. He also said that in advancing the proposal 'we are in no way changing our current policy in relation to Mr Keating's proposal for a republic'.(284)
24 November 1994 Malcolm Fraser wrote that:
It is idle to pretend that the recent difficulties surrounding the Royal Family have not had a deep impact on the family's standing within Australia...The young Royals have a demonstrated ability to achieve publicity in ways that do not enhance their standing within Australia and which could, in an untimely way, have a dramatic and adverse effect on a referendum vote.(285)
12 January 1995 The Young Liberal Movement, at their national convention, defeated a motion supporting a constitutional monarchy and supported a motion urging the federal Liberal Party to put forward their preferred model for a future republic.(286)
17 January 1995 The West Australian constitutional committee reported that a 'minimalist republic' would not be detrimental to the State and that secession was not the answer to the West's problems with Canberra.(287)
26 January 1995 An Age AGB McNair Australia Day poll, revealed that most people would not support Australia becoming a republic if they were unable to elect the head of state. The poll found 52 per cent of people favoured a republic, 38 per cent opposed a republic and 11 per cent were undecided.(288)
30 January 1995 John Howard became Leader of the Opposition after Alexander Downer stood aside.
17 February 1995 The Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, agreed that the issue was in a state of flux. 'If we had a referendum tomorrow I would still vote no to a change. If we had a referendum in five years' time well you'll have to come to The Lodge in five years' time and ask me how I vote, I just don't know.' Mr Howard said he accepted that the idea of an Australian head of state was a totemic issue for many people. 'Now if there comes a time when most Australians clearly felt comfortable with a republic, I will accept that with the greatest of goodwill because it is what my fellow Australians want and I will be quite happy with that. I am not going to slash my wrists if it occurs.'(289)
10 March 1995 In Bonn, Prime Minister Keating expressed his preference for a system in which the head of state is elected by Parliament rather than by the people.(290)
11 March 1995 Leader of the National Party Tim Fischer said that he supported an Australian constitutional monarchy 'but also having a convention ahead of any referendum.' Mr Fischer said that 'The make-up of Australia means any president appointed or elected by the cocoon of Canberra will face the risk of being despised. Australia's size requires a people elected president'. 'I personally favour an elected-by-the-people ceremonial president, not withstanding the double mandate concerns.'(291)
13 March 1995 Democrat Leader Senator Kernot said that the Federal Parliament should select the President by an election of both houses of Federal Parliament (by a two thirds majority) from a short list drawn up with the involvement of the public.(292)
17 March 1995 Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett said constitutional change was inevitable and might even be appropriate. He declared his support for a German method of electing a president by Members of Parliament. He said that he was still aligned with monarchists but 'that's not to say that I wouldn't be prepared to change to something else if something else came along'.(293)
17 March 1995 Mr Fischer stated that in the context of the constitutional debate, he preferred a largely ceremonial president directly elected by the people. That in no way was an admission 'that a republic is inevitable. I remain wedded to support for the existing "Australian constitutional monarchy"-a phrase that needs to be understood as representing the totality of a unique and very successful system of government.'(294)
18 March 1995 Mr Kennett said that he supported the present constitutional system and that his earlier comments in support of the German republican model had been misinterpreted.(295)
25 May 1995 The Opposition Leader, John Howard, said he did not believe the republic debate would be a big election issue. 'Liberals who want a republic are not going to change their vote over it and Labor people who want the present arrangement won't change their vote either,' Mr Howard said.(296)
7 June 1995 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, gave a speech entitled 'An Australian Republic The Way Forward' to Parliament. The speech was televised nationally. In the speech the Prime Minister said that in the government's view
- Australia should become a republic by the year 2001 and Australia's 'head of state' should be an Australian.
- The key proposal advanced by the Government for the establishment of a federal republic was the election of a federal President. Other related proposals included:
- the president to be elected by a two thirds majority vote in a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the nomination of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- the question of a republic to be put to the people in 1998 or 1999
- the president be appointed for a non-renewable term of office of five years
- the president be an Australian citizen of voting age who may not hold any other remunerated position while in office. Serving Commonwealth, State and Territory parliamentarians would be excluded from nomination and former Commonwealth, State and Territory parliamentarians would be excluded from nomination until five years had passed since departure from parliament
- the president to be subject to removal by a two-thirds majority vote in a joint sitting of Parliament, with either House having the right to initiate the joint sitting by passing a motion supported by a simple majority of members
- the president perform ceremonial and representational functions currently performed by the Queen and the Governor-General
- the reserve powers currently possessed by the Governor-General (eg. powers to appoint and dismiss the prime minister and to refuse to force a dissolution of the lower house of parliament or a simultaneous dissolution of both houses) remain with the president. The Constitution would provide that the constitutional conventions governing the exercise of these powers would continue.
- The Government argued that the president should be an Australian and elected by a two thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament because:
- the election of a President who is an Australian expresses a desire to have a 'head of state' who is an Australian
- the election of a President who is an Australian will make clear and unambiguous Australia's independence and responsibility for our own affairs
- an Australian 'head of state' can embody Australia's modern aspirations, cultural diversity, evolving partnerships with Asia and the Pacific, quest for reconciliation with Aboriginal Australians, ambition to create a society in which women have equal opportunity, equal representation and equal rights
- the process will oblige the Government to nominate non-partisan candidates
- it will require consultation with non-Government parties to ensure the candidate has bi-partisan support
- it will avoid parliamentary debate on the relative merits of competing candidates, which could discourage appropriate candidates from accepting nomination
- popular election would guarantee that an Australian 'head of state' would be a politician, the major parties would run candidates and those candidates would be backed by large party organisations with the funds necessary to run nationwide campaigns.
7 June 1995 The Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Cheryl Kernot, issued a media briefing note setting out the Democrats views on a Republic as follows.
- The Democrats supported Australia becoming a republic and believe the 'head of state' should be an Australian.
- The Democrats argued that the president should be elected by a two thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament for the following reason:
- If the reserve powers (eg. powers to appoint and dismiss the prime minister and to refuse and force a dissolution of the lower house of parliament or a simultaneous dissolution of both houses) are to be retained the Democrats support election of a President by a two thirds majority of parliamentary democracy.
- The election of a President by a two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament was not the Democrats preferred position. The Democrats believe:
- the most appropriate method of election for a President depended to a large extent on the role and powers of the President
- the powers of the President should be codified
- a process should be developed under which all Australians could make nominations to a short-list from which Parliament would then choose the President
- a petition system should be instituted under which a candidate could be nominated by no less than 25 000 and no more than 40 000 eligible voters
- there should be a Bill of Rights incorporated into the Constitution, an environmental head of power and the Government should fund the Constitutional Centenary Foundation to lead public debate over the next four years.
8 June 1995 The leader of the Opposition, John Howard, put the Oppositions' position on a republic. In his speech to Parliament he put the following proposals:
- The establishment of a 'Peoples Convention' in 1997 which would examine such issues as:
- whether or not Australia should become a republic
- the role of the 'head of state' in the Australian Constitution, including implications of change for the role of the States
- allocation of legislative and executive powers and functions between federal and state governments, including areas of overlap and duplication
- whether we should introduce four year instead of three year terms of Parliament
- the basis upon which new states, in particular the Northern Territory, would be admitted to the federation
- any other matter which the 'Peoples Convention' members determine.
- The 'Peoples Convention' would consist of:
- 50 per cent of members appointed by the Government of the day, 10 per cent of which would be between 18 and 25 years of age
- 50 per cent elected.
- The arguments put forward by the Coalition for a 'Peoples Convention' included:
- enabling a range of community views to be properly examined
- gauging the mood for change in the Australian community
- providing a forum which unified rather than divided the community
- allowing the people of Australia to decide the questions, the options and the referendum; and
- involving all Australian people at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the debate process.
- If consensus for change emerged from a 'Peoples Convention', that consensus would be put to a referendum and promoted by the Government of the day. If no consensus emerged from the 'Peoples Convention' the Coalition would go to the people and seek their views on a range of options.(297)
9 June 1995 The Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, referring to the Coalition's proposed 'people's convention' said that:
he believed a national convention was 'just another committee'. I have attended many constitutional conventions in my life over the years and while (there is) a great deal of spirit, camaraderie and good meals, I am not sure ... they achieve anything, he said. Just as I respect Mr Howard's honesty and his right to have an opinion that a convention would be the best way to go, I have got to say to you honestly that I am not a great committee man and would rather get on with the deed and produce outcomes.(298)
10 June 1995 Mr Howard, referring to his proposal to put a referendum for a republic if there was a 'consensus' on that from the people's convention, said that 'consensus' meant 'a clear majority'. He said 51 per cent would not be a clear majority but that '60-70 per cent is obviously a clear majority'. He would not be tied to a particular figure.(299)
11 June 1995 The National Party leader, Tim Fischer, said that he would feel 'duty-bound' to facilitate a referendum after the people's convention. 'There will be no sleight of hand, no stacking of the convention, no infinite filibuster,' he said. 'In reality, a referendum is inevitable.'(300)
11 June 1995 Tasmanian Liberal Premier Ray Groom announced a referendum to be held in 1997 to give Tasmanians an opportunity to express their views on the issue. Mr Groom said that change was not a question of if, but when. 'In my view, Australia has reached full adulthood as a national and must be self-reliant and self-sufficient in every sense,' he said. 'In due course an Australian will be our head of state...That will also be reflected in each of the States.'(301)
12 June 1995 Opposition leader John Howard, in a speech aimed at removing 'misconceptions' about his plan, said that his proposed people's convention would deal with the question of a head of state as its prime task. If the convention was unable to arrive at a consensus he would 'go to the people to seek their views on a range of options'. These would include the retention of the present constitutional arrangements, a popularly elected president, a president chosen by a parliamentary process (as proposed by the prime minister), and possibly another option whereby a head of state could be chosen by some other process. The multiple choice plebiscite would be held to determine the community's preference. This would be followed by a formal referendum on the central question.(302) Mr Howard also said that if the convention reached a consensus on a change to a republic, a coalition government would campaign for it in a referendum.(303)
21 June 1995 The Liberal Premier of South Australia, Dean Brown, said South Australia would face a referendum within two to three years on the State's transition within a republic, including the role of a State figurehead. He said 'I've indicated for the last two years that I believe Australia becoming a republic is inevitable and when it occurs and how it occurs is in the hands of Australians.' 'If Australia is to become a republic then I believe the States should make their decision (on a head of State) at the same time. We can't afford to have an absolute mish-mash with the States being under a monarchy while having a republic at the federal level.'(304)
4 July 1995 The head of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Keith Rayner, said that the republic debate was 'firmly on the national agenda' and a republic appeared inevitable. 'If we are to become a republic, and I think the signs are that this will happen, I agree with the view that the president should not be chosen by popular election because that would inevitably politicise the office'.(305)
5 July 1995 Sir Maurice Byers QC wrote that 'if both Cabinet and president are to be elected and the president's mandate is the more direct, irreconcilable opposites are likely to yield chaos.'(306)
30 August 1995 A former Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, a former supporter of Australia retaining its ties to the monarchy, wrote in his newspaper column that:
Emotionally, I have been attached to the monarchy because I believe nations should protect their past and build on it for the future. For a variety of reasons, which relate more to what has happened in Britain than what has happened in Australia I now accept that a republic is inevitable and right.(307)
29 September 1995 The ACTU passed a resolution at the second day of the biennial ACTU congress endorsing the Federal Government's model for a republic and calling for widespread debate on issues such as the preamble and the rights of indigenous people before a referendum in 1998 or 1999.(308)
26 October 1995 The Governor-General, Bill Hayden warned that:
the Federal Government plan for a republic had 'very serious pitfalls' which might threaten effective government. Mr Hayden said 'Imagine a president who had been elected who becomes an opportunist populist and who is able to cobble together sufficient support in the Parliament to avoid being thrown out and yet have a majority of the Parliament opposed to his conduct and he then sets upon a course of wilful behaviour which makes the proper process of government very difficult to sustain. You could have a difficult situation...we need to think a lot about the implications of what we are talking about. We need to be sure if we do anything that it is workable and doesn't have serious defects'. Mr Hayden also said that an elected president might cost more than a Governor-General because of the likelihood of more frequent overseas travel. In his time as Governor-General, spending on the office had fallen by 3 per cent a year in real terms-inconsistent with someone who is self-indulgent, living high on the neck of the hog, wallowing in self gratification.(309)
3 November 1995 Journalist Brian Toohey estimated the savings which would flow from a decision not to replace the Governor-General with a president and if State Governors were not replaced by State Presidents, as approximately $24 million.(310)
4 November 1995 The Prime Minister, in a speech to the Australian Republican Movement, said that Britain's support of nuclear testing by France in the Pacific showed Australia's and Britain's interests 'are often very different and even fundamentally opposed'. 'The lesson to be learned from it is not an anti-British one but one about the inappropriateness of Australia having a head of state who is not one of us,' he said.(311)
5 November 1995 The executive director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Kerry Jones, said that Mr Keating's comments linking Britain's refusal to oppose French nuclear testing in the Pacific to the need for a republic drew attention to the dangers of an all-powerful political president.(312)
9 November 1995 An Age editorial entitled 'Revisiting 1975 on the road to a republic' asked how should a republican constitution deal with the possibility of parliamentary deadlock? And where should the line be drawn between the principles of representative and responsible government on the one hand and the rights of the Senate as a house of review on the other? If we do not wish the Senate to retain the right to block or vote against money bills, should we rely on the prevailing convention or write this into the constitution? The editorial concluded that for 20 years these questions have been consigned to the too-hard basket but that we cannot make the transition to a republic without resolving them.(313)
11 November 1995 The Opposition Leader, John Howard, on the 20th anniversary of the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government said that the Prime Minister's model for a republic by 2000 gave the proposed president more powers than those exercised by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1975, powers that still divide the community.(314)
14 November 1995 The November issue of Choice magazine stated that a change to a republic is neither imminent nor inevitable and that 'It's not just a choice between retaining the monarchy with the Queen as head of state, or becoming a republic with the president as head of state. A head of state has powers and how these powers are exercised is a crucial issue in the debate'.(315)
22 November 1995 Following revelations by the Princess of Wales about her personal life, the executive director of the Australian Republican Movement, Michael Ward, said 'There's a lot of interest in it, but I don't think there is anything specifically pertinent to Australia's future with a head of state'.(316)
24 November 1995 The Foreign Minister, Senator Gareth Evans, told a Senate estimates hearing that Governor-General Bill Hayden had received second-order treatment from the Americans when he attended the United Nations' 50th anniversary celebrations because he was not recognised as Australia's effective head of state. '(T)he Americans simply refused to believe, after checking the question with the British Embassy, that the Governor-General was the head of state.' Senator Evans said the constitutional convention under which Australia operated, in which the Governor-General was the practical head of state, was not understood overseas.(317)
29 November 1995 A former Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowen, delivering the 1995 Sir Robert Menzies Lecture, said that a 'sea change' had taken place in Australia, turning the tide in his own mind about the need for a native head of state. He said the central argument for change was that only a native head of state could ensure that 'primary and full time commitment' was given to Australia's citizens. He criticised the idea of direct election of a president on the grounds it would favour candidates backed by the big political parties and exclude people like himself and Sir Ninian Stephen.(318)
12 December 1995 The British High Commissioner, Sir Roger Carrick, said that it was 'none of our business' whether Australia became a republic and that neither government could allow the 'tabloid level of comment' to affect the substance of the bilateral relationship.(319)
14 December 1995 Opposition Leader John Howard, in his fourth 'Headland' speech said that the choice faced by Australia was not 'between our past and our future, between our history and our geography. The task is to take with us into the future what is best from our past, as well as to maximise the potential benefits of our geographic position.' Mr Howard said that his proposed People's Convention would provide a calm forum for deliberation. He said 'We are not offering a republic by stealth. Nor do we believe that government ought to try to create a stampede. Nor will we erect artificial barriers to prevent the people expressing their views.'(320)
17 December 1995 Deputy Opposition Leader Peter Costello said that 'I think that there is a real case, if people really want to elect the president, I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to, myself.'(321)
22 December 1995 A cross section of monarchists and republicans appeared to agree that a divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales would be unlikely to influence the country's republic debate.(322)
1 January 1996 The chairman of the Constitutional Centenary Foundation, Sir Ninian Stephen, released a 'key issues' paper which raised for debate questions such as 'Should there be a more formal separation of powers between parliament and government?' 'What should be the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizens?' 'Should Northern Territory become a State?' Sir Ninian said that the only aspect of governance which had been 'debated with any degree of seriousness' in recent years was 'the republic and whether there should be a wholly Australian head of State'. 'The same considerations of national identity which underlie the republic debate justify a fresh look at the rest of the constitutional system in light of the values and needs of the present,' he said.(323)
17 January 1996 Alan Lees, a 67 year old war veteran who served two tours of duty in the Korean war, resigned from the RSL because he would not swear allegiance to 'the Queen of a foreign country'. Mr Bruce Ruxton defended the league's anti-republican stance and said that the league 'was not prepared to accept republicans...and its rule regarding allegiance to the Queen would 'never change'.(324)
17 January 1996 The NSW Premier, Bob Carr, announced the appointment of a new Governor, Gordon Samuels, a former judge of the NSW Supreme Court, for four years instead of the usual five. The Governor-designate would not have to give up his present positions, including chairmanship of the NSW Law Reform Commission and would not take up residence in Government House. He would be accommodated instead in a government office suite. The Governor's revised role would include some ceremonial duties but Mr Samuels expected that his ceremonial and community duties would be reduced. Mr Samuels said 'he did not think such tasks were of the first importance. Mr Carr's changes take the right approach. They involve stripping away the mystique and the superfluous trimmings, and focusing on the serious responsibilities of the Governor's position. The pressure will come on other State to follow suit.'(325)
17 January 1996 The New South Wales Opposition called for an immediate recall of Parliament and a referendum on the role of the Governor and Government House following Mr Carr's announcement.(326)
18 January 1996 The Opposition foreign affairs spokesman, Alexander Downer, said that NSW Premier Bob Carr's decision to downgrade the Governor's job to a part-time position had national implications. 'Mr Carr has treated the public with complete contempt and has telegraphed what Mr Keating will do...try to ram through changes he wants to our Constitution without any consultation.' A spokesman for Mr Keating rejected Mr Downer's claim saying 'The Prime Minister has no intention of changing in any way the status or role of the Governor-General or his staffing arrangements, working conditions or accommodation.'(327)
21 January 1996 National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Mr Lloyd Waddy, condemned Prime Minister Paul Keating's announcement of a plebiscite on the question of a republic promised to be held within 12 months of the return of a Labor Government. Mr Waddy stated:
Mr Keating knows that we already have a local constitutional head of state in the Governor-General, who is nowadays always an Australian, and who will no doubt open the Olympic Games....If the Prime Minister were fair dinkum he would ask the following questions of the people:
Do you want to change to a republic? If so:
- Do you want a politician as head of state?
- Do you want to elect that politician yourself or do you want other politicians (i.e. Parliament) do it for you?
- Do you want the Head of State to have the powers to dismiss a Prime Minister?
- Do you want the Head of State to have the powers of an American President?
- Do you want the Head of State to be irremovable for 5 years?(328)
24 January 1996 Justice Elizabeth Evatt, former chief judge of the Family Court, speaking at a pre-Australia Day function at the Evatt Foundation, said Australia needed to become a republic with a legislative bill of rights to stop basic human rights violations of Aborigines. Justice Evatt stated:
It is quite a good thing to analyse in our minds whether the ceremonial trappings of the office of Governor is something Australia wants...The focus needs to be on the integrity and independence of the individual. Why would such a person need all those extra things that even our elected representatives don't get?...Australia shares with the United Kingdom not only the monarch but also the doubtful distinction of being the only Western democracies that have no entrenched bill of rights.(329)
8 February 1996 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating said that a vote for Labor was a vote for the republic, while a vote for John Howard was a vote for the retention of the monarchy.(330)
11 February 1996 Mr Fahey, the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Macarthur, said a Coalition federal government would support the establishment of an Australian republic if the 'mood of the people' wanted it. He said it was a decision the people, not governments, must make.(331)
13 February 1996 National Party Senator Ron Boswell at the National launch of Senate candidates in Brisbane, said:
...a vote for the National Party was a vote to retain the existing constitutional system and flag. He said 'If the people's convention calls for a referendum, the National Party will support one being put to the Australian people...But we will reserve the right to campaign against the Keating republic idea, not because we are besotted with the House of Windsor, but because of the uneasy and significant shifts in our democratic structure which Keating's republic would entail'. The National Party leader, Tim Fischer, said that regardless of what happened at the people's convention, a referendum would be held.(332)
14 February 1996 Mr Keating said that if re-elected his Government would conduct a plebiscite (a non binding popular vote) on the single question: 'Do you want an Australian to be Australia's head of State?' If the plebiscite was passed, a joint parliamentary committee would frame constitutional changes to be put to the people in a referendum.(333)
14 February 1996 Democrat's leader Senator Cheryl Kernot said a plebiscite was a good first step to settle, once and for all, whether the Australian people wanted an Australian as head of state. The next step, a joint house committee, must include examination of not just the Prime Minister's model for a republic but other possible options to be voted on by the people at a referendum. The Democrats stated that Australians wanted a say in nominating a list of Presidential candidates from which Parliament could choose and suggested that consideration be given to the petition system under which a candidate could be nominated, for example, by no less than 25 000 voters.(334)
15 February 1996 Mr Howard said the Labor Party's proposal for a plebiscite to determine if Australia becomes a republic 'could lead to the "ludicrous" situation where a plebiscite on whether there should be an Australian head of state was carried, but a referendum on Australia becoming a republic was defeated.' He added '...I think (in that situation) we would look foolish and we would be in some sort of constitutional limbo.'(335)
15 February 1996 The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, in his policy speech launching the Labor Party's election campaign said that 'We believe that an Australian head of state should welcome in the next century, should open the Olympic Games in the year 2000, should represent us abroad in this nation's second century.' He also said that 'The Government never suggested that its model was the only one. We want to see the widest possible discussion and consultation.'(336)
20 February 1996 An AGB McNair Age Poll found that 76 per cent of voters said they would like an Australian head of state but that very few people said that Labor's position on an Australian head of state would make them more likely to vote for the Government.(337)
1 March 1996 About 500 monarchists rallied at Government House to continue the fight against the decision of New South Wales Premier Bob Carr's to alter the role of the Governor and to open Government House to the public. The Leader of the New South Wales Opposition, Peter Collins, accepted a petition containing 55 000 signatures and promised to 'submit the petition to Parliament at the first available opportunity'.(338)
23 March 1996 Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, told the Western Australian that decisions would have to be taken quickly so that the convention could be held, as promised in 1997. As to the Coalition promise that a consensus view from the convention would be put to the Australian public at a referendum, Senator Minchin acknowledged that determining at what point a 'consensus' had been reached would be a 'prerogative for the Government'.(339)
25 March 1996 National Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer said the Federal Government would push on with a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic despite National Party members hoping it was just a bad dream.(340)
9 April 1996 Year 12 students at the First National Schools Constitutional Convention, organised by the Constitutional Centenary Foundation, supported a republic with a non-political head of state elected by a two-thirds majority of parliament. The group supported a fixed term of five to seven years for the position, although some questions were raised about whether the term should be reviewable. The delegation of 120 students from 104 schools agreed the role of head of state should remain ceremonial, although they were split on whether a two-thirds majority of a joint sitting of parliament should have the power to remove the head of state. There was some backing for removal by referendum or by the High Court.(341)
29 April 1996 The National Party's deputy leader, Mr John Anderson, when asked if he thought Australia should become a republic, stated:
I think so, you know, at some stage down the road the Australian people will opt to change.(342)
3 May 1996 The Governor of South Australia, Sir Eric Neal, said republicans had failed to come up with a convincing reason to discard the constitutional monarchy.(343)
29 May 1996 A special meeting of Federal Liberal and National MPs was told that the option of extending the franchise to 17 year olds in a national poll on an Australian republic was being seriously considered because of the enduring impact on young people of changes to the Constitution.(344)
30 May 1996 The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, received solid party room endorsement to proceed with planning for a 1997 People's Convention to canvass the republic issue. However, there was concern expressed by a number of MPs about the cost of the convention. This was estimated at $8 million; and if the poll to elect Convention delegates was conducted like a normal House of Representatives and half-Senate election, it could cost $50 million.(345)
3 June 1996 Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, indicated that the Government was keen to have the constitutional convention explore a wide range of constitutional issues, as well as the republic. Senator Minchin stated:
The four-year term is a classic one. Both sides agree there ought to be four-year terms; it is just the means by which we achieve that, and maybe we achieve that, and maybe the convention can play a very constructive role in identifying a sensible solution.(346)
10 June 1996 The head of a South Australian committee examining the State's transition in the event of the country becoming a republic, Professor Peter Howell, said it would not be a realistic option for a State to retain a formal association with the monarchy if the Commonwealth ceased to be a constitutional monarchy. Professor Howell also said that new machinery for the appointment and dismissal of State governors must be put in place at the same time as any republican amendments to the Commonwealth Constitution.(347)
25 June 1996 In his final parliamentary act before retiring, Liberal Senator Baden Teague introduced a Private Senator's Bill, the Constitution Alteration (President of the Commonwealth of Australia) Bill 1997. The Bill proposed removing references to the Queen, the Crown and the Governor-General and providing for the appointment and tenure of a President. (348)
9 July 1996 Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja told a Western Australian Republican Movement meeting that a woman would be ideal as president to represent a commitment to the future. Senator Stott-Despoja stated:
This would symbolise Australia's move into the next century as committed to equality between the sexes and to endorsing women in positions of power.(349)
23 July 1996 Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, said that the 1997 people's convention would not go ahead if the Senate rejected or sought substantially to amend legislation setting it up.(350)
31 July 1996 A Newspoll survey found that a total of 54 per cent of those surveyed supported a president elected by a two-thirds majority of both Houses of the Parliament. A majority of Coalition supporters surveyed, or 51 per cent, were in favour of an Australian head of state, as opposed to 41 per cent who remained in favour of the Queen. The survey showed increased support for an Australian head of state, with those in favour rising from 56 per cent in December 1995 to 63 per cent the previous weekend. Support for an Australian head of state was strongest among 35 to 49 year olds, with 70 per cent in favour, and lowest among 50 years and over, with 56 per cent in favour. Men were much more in favour of an Australian head of state than women, with 68 per cent of men in support compared with 59 per cent of women.(351)
5 August 1996 A national survey of 300 16 and 17 year olds by the Business Council of Australia showed that all respondents believed Australia would be a republic by 2010.(352)
9 August 1996 Former Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowen, and former Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Anthony Mason, said citizens should be asked a general question on constitutional reform before the convention considered the wider issues. They were supported by constitutional law experts Professor Cheryl Saunders of Melbourne University and Professor Charles Sampford of Griffith University.(353)
20 August 1996 Coalition Budget did not allocate specific funds to the Convention.
12 September 1996 New Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston argued for a republic in his maiden speech.
29 September 1996 Prime Minister John Howard, while conceding that there is latent support among Australians for the move to a republic, said Australia would not be a republic for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Prime Minister stated:
The most important thing is that if there is a change, it is a uniting event, not a dividing event. The worst thing we could have is a premature vote on the republic which gave a 51-49 result either way.(354)
24 October 1996 The South Australian Constitutional Advisory Commission, appointed by the Brown Government in 1995, completed its first report into how the State would be affected by the move to a republic and recommended mechanisms for transition. Recommendations included:
- States must relinquish links with the monarchy and State constitutions must be simultaneously altered
- Premiers should still appoint State heads, prime ministers should still appoint Commonwealth head
- The head of state should not be elected by popular vote or Parliament, and
- Individual State referenda should precede a federal referendum.(355)
22-24 November 1996 Bathurst People's Convention held. The Convention comprised approximately 200 delegates from local government, youth and community organisations. The Convention was an initiative of local community organisations, with help from the Constitutional Centenary Foundation.(356) Convention recommendations included: Australia become a republic; an Australian head of state should be appointed by Parliament; and a preamble to the Constitution should enshrine shared values, recognition of diversity, protection for the environment and civic rights.(357)
1 December 1996 Justice Kenneth Handley of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, speaking at a seminar hosted by the Constitutional Centenary Foundation and the Legal Forum on the Proposed Republic, said it would be 'irresponsible' for Australia to become a republic by transferring the Governor-General's 'awesome' powers to a president. Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest, told the seminar a racist section of the Constitution should be repealed and a new clause inserted to entrench non-discrimination. Father Brennan also argued for a preamble to the Constitution acknowledging prior occupation by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and dispossession of their land.(358)
3 December 1996 An AGB McNair Poll had 55 per cent of voters supporting a republic under which a new head of state would fulfil the same responsibilities as the Governor-General. Thirty eight per cent of voters surveyed were opposed to a republic and 7 per cent undecided. Support was much stronger among men, at 61 per cent, than for women, at 49 per cent. Western Australia and New South Wales, which both registered support below 50 per cent in a September 1995 survey, registered as the strongest pro-republican States, with support running at 57 per cent. In Tasmania, the pro-republican vote was 46 per cent.(359)
4 December 1996 Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Cheryl Kernot, moved a motion in the Senate urging the Government to confirm that it will hold a convention with at least half of the delegates being elected. Senator Kernot's motion also called on the Government to hold an indicative poll on the question of Australia's head of state in conjunction with elections for the people's convention.(360)
4 December 1996 The Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, announced the federal ALP's position. Mr Beazley outlined a three part process, namely:
- first, a plebiscite to establish whether or not the Australian people want an Australian head of state and a republic
- second, because the constitutional process will require an act of parliament for a referendum, the establishment of an all party committee of the Parliament which will ultimately have to pass the referendum proposal and ensure that that all party committee listens to the people, and
- third, go to a referendum.(361)
14 December 1996 The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, refused to commit himself to giving Australians a vote on the republic before the next election, and doubted if there would be the momentum for change by 2000. Mr Howard said he had never said a plebiscite on the republic would be held before the next election-only that the people would have a vote before the turn of the century.(362)
25 January 1997 Mr Howard reflected that currently the main republican concern was timetabling. In an interview with The Age Mr Howard stated:
I don't believe a republican system would ever be better than the system we have got, but I do understand why the symbolism of it is less relevant to a lot of people now than it used to be...I don't cop this view that you can just have a direct swap of the reserve powers from a monarch to a president. It's not as simple as that. It defies 100 years of history...The dilemma that Australia has is that we have a system which is very good, but Australians, quite a number of Australians, feel increasingly uncomfortable with the symbolism of that system. And you have to make absolutely certain that if you are to change it, you change to a system which is at least as good, and that is a lot harder than many of the professional republicans say....The attitude of the most Anglophile Australian towards the monarchy now is different from what it used to be....some people may think the symbolism of it is out of date, the actual system itself works in a remarkable and contemporary fashion. (363)
25 January 1997 The outgoing Governor of Victoria, The Hon Richard McGarvie, commented on the need for public education on the present system and proposed republican models, to enable informed decision-making. He stated:
I think that the general question whether one prefers a monarchy or one prefers a republic is not difficult for people because most people who think about it immediately support one side or the other because it comes from their sentiment, their background, their views of the future, their loyalties, their aspirations for the country and its democracy and that sort of thing....But merely to ask whether you support a monarchy or a republic is to ask a very vague question...there are so many types of republic.(364)
27 January 1997 It was reported that a Cabinet meeting to be held on 28 January 1997, could decide to break an election promise. Suggestions had been made that the cabinet would drop an election commitment that half the delegates at the Convention for a republic would be elected popularly. Other issues to be discussed were the possible delay of the convention to 1998, and the holding of a plebiscite. An alternative reportedly to be mooted was that delegates would be elected by State and Territory Governments and local councils.(365)
28 January 1997 Reports of discussions in the Federal Cabinet of changes to delegate election to the people's convention and re-timetabling, produced strong statements by the ARM and republicans. Professor Peter Doherty, the Australian of the Year, stated:
To me the Queen as head of Australia seems to represent an imperial past that has little relevance to Australia...since the fall of Singapore.(366)
29 January 1997 The Federal Cabinet confirmed a commitment to election promises to both hold the Convention and have half the delegates popularly elected.
Senator Minchin reportedly had put forward several options to the Cabinet. These options included dropping the Convention, having all delegates selected by State, Territorial and State Governments, and foregoing the convention in favour of a plebiscite.(367)
The Chairman of ARM, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, condemned the Government's model of the People's Convention, seeing it as a 'delaying tactic', and said:
A people's convention which is not elected by the people is an exercise in North Korean Political Science-I mean, it's a joke...A people's convention is the gathering of representatives of the people, chosen by the people.(368)
5 February 1997 Prime Minister John Howard formally confirmed his intention to proceed with a constitutional convention late in 1997. He recognised that a significant percentage of the population saw the present system as 'no longer relevant as it used to be...'.He also remarked that '...[M]y plea to the Australian people is that this issue not be divisive...If people want the thing properly debated, this is the best way to do it'. He announced that the Convention will be preceded by a voluntary postal vote for half the delegates. Other delegates would be nominated by the Government. Delegates would include a fixed representation of indigenous groups, ten percent young people (18-24 year olds), and state, territorial and federal government.
With regard to the nomination of a head of state, Mr Howard said he envisaged the process would be 'dealt with separately and first and not allowed to be side-tracked or held back by consideration of other issues'. (369)
In addition, Mr Howard said the Convention could consider issues such as a four year term for the House of Representatives, the admission of new states, and the distribution of legislative and executive power.(370)
10 February 1997 Prime Minister John Howard announced the possibility of briefing the Queen on the Republican debate during his forthcoming visit to Britain saying he would:
...as a matter of courtesy and as my predecessor did, call on the Queen and discuss these matters with her.
But I promise the Australian people this: if they want a republic they will have it, and I will not stand in their way. I will never allow my personal view on this to interfere with the emergence of a consensus.(371)
12 February 1997 Western Australian Premier Richard Court argued: that all States should be equally represented at the Convention and that it would be inappropriate for two States to account for half of the elected representatives. Also, Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge called for equal representation between the States. The remarks of the Premiers Court and Borbidge were in response to Senator Nick Minchin's announcement that the Convention would consist of:
20 Federal MPs
18 for State Parliaments
29 Other including Aborigines(372)
13 February 1997 Coalition backbenchers endorsed the Government's constitutional convention model. The government has taken a firm stand in relation to State representation, though it flagged a possible increase in territorial representatives.
Western Australian Federal member for Stirling, Mr E. Cameron, pushing for the less populous States to have equal representation stated:
I fear that providing majority representation to the more populous States will place greater attention on the membership and biases of the major States, and ignore the real issue of the future of our nation's constitution.(374)
17 February 1997 Senator Boswell of the National Party told 'Meet the Press' on Channel 10 that the Nationals would maintain a stance against changing the system, but he accepted that:
Prime Minister John Howard has made a commitment to the people and, therefore, I suppose, we're dragged into it...My assessment from the meetings that I've been to, is that the National Party won't wish to go down the Republican way.(375)
20 February 1997 Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday, British High Commissioner, Sir Roger Carrick announced that:
[Britain was not] straining to hold Australia back from becoming a Republic.....I am sure you will understand that on the substance of that debate the British Government has no view at all except that it has nothing to do with us: the debate is a matter entirely for the Australian people, not the Brits.
And warned the media:
...don't allow the republic debate to fuel misconceptions of attitudes in each country...The Republic debate can be represented in a wrongly coloured and distorted way; the press in each of our countries can present aspects of the issue in ways which may do harm. It is a truism to say that with free speech and with freedom of the press come responsibility.(376)
24 February 1997 A poll by the Daily Telegraph questioning the stand of Federal politicians on the republican debate found 41 per cent supported a republic, 21 per cent opposed and the rest were uncommitted. Seven per cent of Liberals supported a republic, 14 per cent were opposed and the rest were uncommitted. Ninety-five per cent of Labour Politicians supported a republic, none opposed, the rest were uncommitted. From the National Party, 4 per cent supported a republic, 20 per cent were opposed and the rest uncommitted. The Greens and Democrats all supported a republic.(377)
March 2 1997 A special federal council of the National Party reaffirmed the Party's position supporting the monarchy. WA Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan was quoted as saying:
There is no doubt the majority of National Party members want no change...but it represents far more than its members, and the constituency we represent-regional Australia-is prepared to debate change...The majority of our members would vote for no change, our broader constituency would fall halfway between but Australia as a whole would vote for a republic. We can't hide our head in the sand.
Federal Senator Grant Tambling stated:
We have to ensure we are representing our electorates, not just our party membership.(378)
15 March 1997 The Federal Treasurer, Mr Peter Costello, recognised the republican debate as a long term issue but set a time limit of 2010 for a plebiscite. He said the Convention would review current arrangements:
Not because our current arrangements are weak, but because we have the opportunity to make them stronger.(379)
26 March 1997 Legislation for the election of half the delegates to the Convention was introduced into Parliament by the Prime Minister John Howard. Major features of the Bill included: provision for the election of 76 delegates; the exclusion of certain persons-such as parliamentarians or those already nominated or appointed as delegates by the government-from nominating as delegates; a non-refundable nomination fee of $500; and non-compulsory voting.
Mr Howard described the convention as:
...a forum for all voices in the debate.
Senator Nick Minchin said:
The Government's aim is to ensure that if there is to be any change it is achieved through a process that unites rather than divides the community.(380)
5 April 1997 In Sydney yesterday, the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, said that the debate:
...involves nothing more than the legitimate expression of a permissible point of view in the course of democratic debate about what is or is not in our country's best interests...otherwise the unbearable cost of constitutional deliberations and decisions could be national divisiveness and disunity....It is to be hoped that each side of any debate will accept that to support retention of status quo or to support change is neither un-Australian nor disloyal...it is always important to bear in mind that the ultimate source of all government authority in a true democracy such as ours is the people, all the people.(381)
20-23 April 1997 A three-day Federation Centenary Convention was held in South Australia. It was sponsored by the Constitutional Centenary Foundation and the South Australian Government. The Premier of South Australia, Mr John Olsen, stated:
We are in agreement that much does need to be updated, and to be reviewed if the Australian Constitution is to be relevant to the 21st century. It was agreed that the Constitution should incorporate indigenous rights, including customary laws, protection of human rights, and recognition of the aspirations of Australians. The Republican movement attracted 2/3 of votes.(382)
2 May 1997 The Federal Opposition submitted to the Government 36 suggested nominees for the Convention.(383)
10 June 1997 The Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, announced the appointment of the Rt Hon. Ian Sinclair as Chairperson of the Convention and the Hon. Barry Jones as Deputy Chairperson. Mr Howard said the Convention was an important national milestone and that:
It fulfils commitment to have the issue of whether or not Australians wish to move to a republic fully debated.(384)
12 June 1997 Federal member for New England (NSW), the Rt Hon. Ian Sinclair, announced his intention to detail a proposal to replace the monarchy with a 'governor's council.'(385)
18 June 1997 Doubts arise about the future of the Convention when the Senate refused acceptance of the Government's non-compulsory postal ballot legislation. Senator Harradine stated:
If you are going to have an election, and if you are going to have a popular election for direct appointment or election of delegates to the convention, you have it by the usual method of electoral voting-that is compulsory voting, which has stood the test of time.(386)
21 June 1997 In Britain, Prime Minister Mr Howard said of the republican debate:
I think the issue will obviously continue to be debated...but while it will continue to be debated and it is important in a long term sense, it is not a front of the mind, front-burner issue.(387)
26 June 1997 The Government rejected a joint Australian Labor Party and Australian Democrat proposal for legislation for a national vote on a republican constitution and an Australian as head of state.(388)
29 August 1997 Tasmanian Senators, Independent Brian Harradine and Greens Bob Brown. supported the Governments Convention legislation. This was after assurances from Mr Howard that he is not seeking abolition of compulsory voting at general elections.(389)
31 August 1997 Death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
1 September 1997 List released of non-parliamentary delegates to the Convention on the republic as appointed by the Federal Government. The list includes 19 men and 17 women from a broad spectrum of backgrounds.(390)
13 September 1997 Polls showed 59 per cent support for a republic in the Australian Capital Territory compared to national support of 54 per cent.(391)
The key Convention related dates are:
29 September 1997-formal notice of election
7 October 1997-close of rolls
8 October 1997-close of nominations
3-14 November 1997-mailing of voter materials
9 December 1997-close of poll
6 January 1998-deadline for election results to be certified
2-6 and 9-13 February 1998-Convention at Old Parliament House, Canberra. (392)
25 September 1997 Premier of Western Australia Richard Court reportedly switched from being pro-constitutional monarchy to supporting a 'minimalist' change to a republic, to occur in 2001. Mr Courts change of stance is predicated on Australians supporting a change to a republic.(393)
6 October 1997 Convention nominee for the Australian Republic Movement, the Hon. Neville Wran, told Labor delegates at the New South Wales Australian Labor Party State Conference that a decision on whether Australia would become a republic could be decided for all practical purposes through voting for Convention delegates. He said Labor Party faithful should mobilise to secure victory in Australia's only chance of becoming a republic this century.(394)
7 October 1997 Convention nominee for Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, the Hon. Don Chipp, predicted that if the minimal-change model of republicanism were adopted, Australia would find itself in 'diabolical trouble' because it would give a president the power to veto bills passed by both houses of Federal Parliament.(395)
9 October 1997 Australian Republican Movement indicated that it would be recommending to the Convention that the new head of state should be appointed by a two-thirds majority of Federal Parliament and that the head of state would require the support of both the Government and the Opposition.(396)
9 October 1997 Australian Council of Trade Unions President, Ms Jennie George, urged unions to mobilise their members to the Australian Republic Movement cause and give financial support.(397)
6 November 1997 'Republic-yes or no?' Explanatory material issued to aid voters.
8 November 1997 Federal MP, and former executive director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Mr Tony Abbott, suggested a compromise with republicans in which the Governor-General, an Australian, would be declared head of state, either by an Act of Parliament or changing the Constitution. Mr Abbott said the Constitution would keep its other references to the Crown, and the Queen would retain her other powers. Australians for Constitutional Monarchy executive director, Mrs Kerry Jones, said Mr Abbott's proposal was worth considering and restated her group's basic premise that the country already had an Australian head of state.(398)
9 November 1997 Mr Howard on the Nine Network's Sunday program, urged convention delegates to aim to:
...reach agreement on the alternative to the present system...There's no point at the convention in convinced republicans trying to persuade convinced anti-republicans to change their mind on the threshold issue...I want it to be constructive because at the end of the day what is more important than whether we have a republic or a constitutional monarchy is a united workable system of government...It is my role as Prime Minister to facilitate an outcome that the overwhelming majority of the Australian people will feel supportive of-and will see something that's appropriate to take them into the next millennium.(399)
12 November 1997 Prime Minister Howard defended the existing constitutional system, or 'crowned republic'. Mr Howard said that he would not stand in the way of change, however, he would vote for non-republicans.(400)
3 December 1997 A Newspoll survey indicated that only half of Australia's teenagers support a republic, but many are still undecided.(401)
10 December 1997 A Newspoll survey showed changes in opinion over the last decade in relation to Australia becoming a republic. In October 1987 the total in favour was 21 per cent and against 64 per cent. In December 1997 the total in favour was 51 per cent with 35 per cent against.(402)
23 December 1997 The final count of the polls for Convention delegate election completed. Of the 76 elected delegates 47 are republicans, 27 from the Australian Republican Movement and 20 other pro-republic candidates. The elected delegates will join 40 politicians from Federal, State and Territorial Parliaments, and 36 delegates appointed by the Federal Parliament.
Mr Malcolm Turnbull from the Australian Republican Movement expressed confidence in the Convention achieving a consensus:
I think the major focus must be to reach consensus...I think the Australian people will be very unsympathetic with delegates who go to the convention in a very doctrinaire, narrow-minded way...We would like to see the convention, before it talks about the mode of election, actually talk about what it wants its head of state to do. If your answer is you want someone impartial and above party politics, then it becomes harder to justify direct election.
Mrs Kerry Jones, the Executive Director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, expressed the opinion that the Australian Republican Movement preferred model for the election of a head of state would be challenged by a two-thirds majority of delegates, including numerous independent republicans. She also stated:
Any republican must be extremely worried because the current vote [for monarchist candidates] would have won the no vote in a referendum-you can't just look at specific areas of the nation.(403)
24 December 1997 A full list of appointed and elected Convention delegates is published.(404)
5 January 1998 A convention delegate, Heidi Zwar, stressed the need for the two main groups to become focus on the key issues, and stop 'bickering'. She recognised that:
The central issue...is how the new head of state will be chosen...Like many Australians I remain to be convinced of the merits of any change-though it will be easier to assess the merits of a republic once it is agreed what republican model is being proposed...Now is the time to move the debate from theory to reality.(405)
13 January 1998 Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) release a Convention 'Policy Statement'. The Policy states that:
...We should not risk changing something that works so well without being unequivocally guaranteed that the safeguards in our current constitution will be maintained...We believe that there is no republican system on offer for Australia that will guarantee leadership above politics, which is the ultimate safeguard the Crown provides throughout our constitution...Australia is already a proud, independent, Sovereign nation. We are sensible people. We will not risk change for change's sake.(406)
22 January 1998 Australian Republican Movement (ARM) releases its Convention 'Position Statement' which stated:
...A 'republic is a state in which power resides in the hands of people entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. This system of government has no hereditary monarch....A Republic of Australia would retain the current separation of roles between the Head of Government and the Head of State with the latter performing a largely ceremonial role as in most other republics...The most significant difference would be in the role of the Head of State representing Australia. Currently, because the Queen of England is also the Queen of Australia, we have no full-time representative Head of State. With an Australian Head of State, we would have a full-time representative who would become internationally recognised as Australian and would be better able to reflect the values and aspirations of the nation because they are one of us, they live here and they owe their first loyalty to Australia. ... .(407)
24 January 1998 Prime Minister John Howard said he believed there was only one strong argument in favour of an Australian Republic:
That argument is that the symbolism of Australia sharing its legal head of state with a number of other nations has become an anachronism and is no longer appropriate for an Australian national about to enter the 21st century.(408)
2 February 1998 Commencement of Constitutional Convention at old Parliament House.
- The Age, 17 January 1991.
- Constitutional convention discusses the power of the Governor-General, the prospect of four-year terms and a Bill of Rights, P.M., Wednesday 3 April 1991.
- Transcript of News Conference, Parliament House, Sydney, 5 April 1991.
- Transcript of Doorstop Interview with Dr John Hewson, MP, Leader of the Opposition, Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry Luncheon, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, Tuesday, 25 June 1991.
- Ross Peake, 'Criticism follows ALP's muted yes to a republic', The Age, 26 June 1991.
- Tony Hewett, 'Queen or country? The answer is a deadlock', The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June 1991.
- Transcript of Dr John Hewson MP, Interview with Paul Barber and John Hindle on Radio 3AW, Melbourne, 26 June 1991.
- Transcript of News Conference, Wrest Point Hotel, Hobart, 27 June 1991, with the Prime Minister, Paul Keating.
- 'RSL fires salvo over republic aspirations', The Canberra Times, 27 June 1991.
- 'Call for a separate Australian monarchy', The Canberra Times, 28 June 1991.
- Media release, National Party of Australia, Federal Secretariat, Brisbane, 28 June 1991.
- Steven Wilson, 'BHP chief attacks political myopia', The Australian, 4 July 1991.
- Transcript of the Australian Republican Movement by Tom Keneally-President of the Committee, 7 July 1991.
- 'The royalist reaction', The Sun-Herald, 7 July 1991.
- Margot Date, 'A stroke of the pen, and goodbye Queen', The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 July 1991.
- Jenna Price, 'Our royalists get a whiff of treason and sedition', The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 July 1991.
- Midday Show, Channel 9, Wednesday 17 July 1991.
- Senator Bronwyn Bishop, Liberal, NSW, media release, 17 July 1991.
- John Howard, 'Republican soft-soap approach won't wash', The Sunday Telegraph, 21 July 1991.
- Alex Mitchell, 'Republican? Not me!', The Sun Herald, 21 July 1991.
- 'Republic row "distraction"', The Canberra Times, 24 July 1991.
- 'Federation centenary "realistic" target for republic: Whitlam', The Canberra Times, 26 July 1991.
- 'Bishop favours debate on republicanism', The Canberra Times, 4 August 1991.
- 'Republic fight', The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 August 1991.
- Rohan Sullivan, 'Republicanism creeps into courts', The Australian, 10 January 1992.
- Ron Hicks, 'Republican Party finally has clout to register', The Australian, 11 January 1992.
- Sonya Voumard, 'Call for greater clarity in the republic debate', The Age, 27 January 1992.
- B.C.Ruxton, 'State President, The Returned Services League', Melbourne, Letter to the editor, The Australian, 31 January 1992.
- Mark Irving and Lenore Taylor, 'PM backs new flag', The Australian, 1 February 1992.
- Geoffrey Barker, 'Colonial cringe needs to change before the flag', The Age, 4 February 1992.
- 'Queen welcome: republican mockery', The Canberra Times, 10 February 1992.
- News Release, 003/92, John Howard MP, Member for Bennelong, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Employment and Training.
- Tom Keneally, Republic Debate, 'Queen indeed or simply quaint?', The Australian, 15 February 1992.
- John Howard, Republic Debate, 'Queen indeed or simply quaint?', The Australian, 15 February 1992.
- 'Queen welcome: republican mockery', The Canberra Times, 10 February 1992.
- Mark Coultan, 'Boycott by five Labor members', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 February 1992.
- Nicole Leedham, 'Australia will be republic: Whitlam', The Canberra Times, 23 February 1992.
- Robert Garran, 'Anger, applause over Keating's speech to Queen', The Australian Financial Review, 25 February 1992 and Tom Keneally, 'Our Republic', 1993, William Heinemann Australia, Melbourne, p.129.
- Robert Garran, 'Anger, applause over Keating's speech to Queen', The Australian Financial Review, 25 February 1992.
- John Hurst, 'Keatings cop a blast from the British media', The Australian Financial Review, 26 February 1992.
- Hansard, 27 February 1992
- Letter to the editor, John Howard, 'Asian opinion no reason to throw out monarchy', The Australian, 28 February 1992.
- Tim Fischer MP, media release, 28 February 1992.
- 'Keating cleared - but not in UK media', The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 1992.
- 'Sorry, Ma'am, most Australians want a republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 February 1992.
- The Age, 29 February 1992.
- Marc McEvoy, 'Queen triggers republican rush', The Sunday Telegraph, 1 March 1992.
- Gough Whitlam, 'I've changed my views on the question of the monarchy in the past 16 years', The Sunday Age, 1 March 1992.
- Bob McMullan, 'Inevitable that nation becomes a republic', The Canberra Times, 1 March 1992.
- 'Republicans out in front', The Canberra Times, 1 March 1992.
- Press release, Young Liberal Movement of Australia, 1 March 1992.
- Marc McEvoy, 'Queen triggers republican rush', The Sunday Telegraph, 1 March 1992.
- Nicolas Rothwell, 'Hurd ridicules Keating's broadside', The Australian, 2 March 1992.
- Hewson scoffs at republican 'diversion', The Canberra Times, 2 March 1992.
- Glenn Milne, 'Attack on Britain may cost ALP marginal seats', The Australian, 3 March 1992.
- Peter Hartcher, 'Support for Keating republic; Hawke favours referendum', The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 March 1992.
- Justine Ferrari and Nick Richardson, '"Stooge" Hayden urged to quit', The Australian, 6 March 1992.
- Ian Warden, 'Time seems to be running out for Ken', The Canberra Times, 8 March 1992.
- Reuter, 'Hayden derided as "stooge of the republicans"', The Canberra Times, 6 March 1992.
- Peter Ward and Richard Sproull, 'Keating sings his republican tune', The Australian, 7 March 1992/
- Malcolm Fraser, 'The historical facts are clear, but a republic is not the answer', The Sunday Age, 8 March 1992.
- Andrew Masterson, '"I'll flatten Keating", says bedless Botham', The Sunday Age, 8 March 1992.
- Brad Crouch, 'MP plans to protest to the Queen', The Sunday Telegraph, 8 March 1992.
- David Kempt, 'Keating must stop fighting past battles', The Canberra Times, 8 March 1992.
- Geoff Kitney, 'More shots in war of independence', The Australian Financial Review, 9 March 1992.
- Glenn Milne, 'Howard defies Hewson on Queen', The Australian, 10 March 1992.
- Reuter, London, 'Commonwealth "very relevant"', The Canberra Times, 10 March 1992.
- Dr John Hewson, MP - Leader of the Opposition, Transcript of Doorstop interview with Dr Hewson at the Assisi Centre, Rosanna, Victoria, 15 March 1992.
- Transcript of the Prime Minister, the Hon P J Keating MP Speech to the Irish-Australian Chamber of Commerce, St Patrick's Day Breakfast, Melbourne, 17 March 1992.
- Alexander Downer, Member for Mayo, Shadow Minister for Trade and Trade Negotiations, media release, 17 March 1992.
- The Hon John Dawkins, Treasurer, press release, Wednesday 18 March 1992.
- Geoff Kitney, 'PM links flag to economy', The Australian Financial Review, 18 March 1992.
- Nicholas Johnston, 'Griffiths in attack on British links', The Age, 23 March 1992.
- Tim Fischer MP, Media Release, 24 March 1992.
- Patrick Smithers, 'Royal skit bowls out England stars', The Age, 25 March 1992.
- Michael Gordon, 'Hewson shifts on republic', The Sunday Age, 15 March 1992.
- Australian Republican Movement Inc, GPO Box 5150, Sydney NSW 2001, Australia.
- 'Republican feeling gathers momentum', The Bulletin, 31 March 1992.
- Matthew Westwood, 'Et tu Ipswich, says bitter Bill', The Australian, 3 April 1992.
- Peter Hartcher, 'Keating the republican delights Indonesia", The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 April 1992.
- Bob Hawke, 'With dignity to a republic', The Sun-Herald, Sydney, 5 April 1992.
- Tom Burton, Republic: 'Keating not waiting on the Queen', The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April 1992.
- Glenn Milne, 'PM considers flag design competition', The Australian, 8 April 1992.
- Michelle Hoffman, 'RSL will bar republicans on Anzac Day', The Sunday Telegraph, 12 April 1992.
- John Hirst, 'Must the baby go out with the bathwater?', The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 April 1992.
- Ross Peake, 'Kokoda visit moves Keating', The Canberra Times, 27 April 1992.
- 'History in the eye of the beholder', The Canberra Times, 28 April 1992.
- 'Archbishop Hollingworth enters republican debate', The Canberra Times, 28 April 1992.
- Lenore Taylor, 'Party wants PM to defer flag vote', The Australian, 30 March 1992.
- Malcolm Turnbull, 'Time to show our true colours', The Australian, 2 May 1992.
- 'Nationals niggly on flag issue', The Canberra Times, 3 May 1992.
- Glenn Milne, 'Voter support for Keating flags over the republic', The Australian, 5 May 1992.
- Ross Peake, 'Moves for republic "good for foreign policy"', The Canberra Times, 8 May 1992.
- Denis Muller, 'Support continues for Australian republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 1992.
- 'PM a bigot: RSL head', The West-Australian, 14 May 1992.
- 'Republican movement out to lunch', The Canberra Times, 15 May 1992.
- Steven Wilson, 'Turnbull damns Keating's republican claims as unfair', The Australian, 15 May 1992.
- Alison Blanksby, 'Liberals raise republican's ire', The West-Australian, 18 May 1992.
- 'Republic a distraction', The Canberra Times, 25 May 1992.
- Geoffrey Partinton, 'Rocky road to the republic', The Bulletin, 2 June 1992.
- D.D.McNicoll, 'Royalists sing in praise of Queen', The Australian, 5 June 1992.
- Etcetera, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 1992.
- Alex Mitchell, 'Aboriginal woman for president call', The Sun-Herald, 7 June 1992.
- Suzanne McDonnell, 'Republicanism plot blooming', The Sunday Age, 7 June 1992.
- Eamonn Fitzpatrick, 'Republicans challenged to "acid test"', The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 June 1992.
- Glenn Milne, 'Reserve, church lambast Keating', The Australian, 10 June 1992.
- Editorial, 'A divorce from the monarchy', The Australian, 10 June 1992.
- Speech by the Prime Minister, The Hon P.J.Keating MP Australian Book Publishers Awards, Sydney 26 June 1992.
- Michael Gordon and Suzanne McDonnell, 'Keating's "Irish agenda" rapped', The Sunday Age, 2 June 1992.
- Michelle Grattan, 'Democrats hint at vote on new oath', The Age, 29 June 1992.
- Editorial, 'Republican loyalties of Mr Keating', The Australian, 30 June 1992.
- Sue Cant and Dennis Shanahan, 'RSL wages war on Keating crusade', The Australian 2 July 1992.
- Deanie Carbon, 'Queen just window dressing, says Gough', The Australian, 8 July 1992.
- Crispin Hull, 'Republican approval "backs constitution"', The Canberra Times, 14 July 1992.
- Anne Connolly, 'Education the battle hymn of Duffy's republic', The Australian, 23 July 1992.
- Tony Stephens, 'Battle royal was more of a civilised skirmish', The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 July 1992.
- Editorial, 'Royal foibles lead to calmer republic debate', The Canberra Times 23 August 1992.
- 'Coalition warns of plan for President', The Canberra Times, 30 August 1992.
- Michael Gordon, 'Republic won't be an issue in election', says Keating, The Sunday Age, 30 August 1992.
- AAP, 'Republic inevitable - Keating', The Australian Financial Review, 30 August 1992.
- 'Murdoch defends monarchy reports', The Australian, 16 October 1992.
- Crispin Hull, 'Keating gets a serve from Sir David', The Canberra Times, 29 October 1992.
- Catherine Lambert, 'Poll has republic a winner', The Sunday Herald, 1 November 1992.
- Michael Millett, 'PM urges change to oath of allegiance', The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 1992.
- Greg Craven, 'Constitutional hurdles to abolishing monarchy', The Canberra Times, 18 November 1992.
- Phillip Derriman, 'Royalty: the equal opportunity argument', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 November 1992.
- Martin Daly, 'Debate spurred by separation of the powers-that-would-be', The Age, 11 December 1992.
- 'New oath abolishes allegiance to Queen', The Canberra Times, 18 December 1992.
- Bob McMullan, 'It's time for us to choose our head of state', The Canberra Times, 20 December 1992.
- Young Libs back republican poll', The Age, 5 January 1993.
- Australian Labor Party Policy Launch Address 1993 Federal Election presented by Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia at the Bankstown Town Hall, 24 February 1993.
- Peter Wilson, Jamie Walker, Lenore Taylor and Tim Stevens, 'Right scorns republic "stunt"', The Australian, 25 February 1993.
- Peter Wilson, Jamie Walker, Lenore Taylor and Tim Stevens, 'Right scorns republic "stunt"', The Australian, 25 February 1993.
- George Winterton, 'How to create the republic of Australia', The Australian, 26 February 1993.
- Ross Peake, 'Coalition "would not block" a republic', The Canberra Times, 4 March 1993.
- Peter Wilson, 'PM plans republic by "at least" 2001', The Australian, 16 March 1993.
- Jamie Walker and Martin Thomas, 'Liberals embrace debate on republic', The Australian 20 March 1993.
- Cherie Beach, 'Perron backs Lib republic debate', The News, 22 March 1993.
- Transcript of Dr John Hewson MP Doorstop Press Conference, Masonic Centre, Sydney, 27 March 1993.
- John Synnott, 'Fahey supports push for a republic', The Sun-Herald, 28 March 1993.
- Greg Thomson, 'Republic is on agenda: Perron', The News, 29 March 1993.
- Mark Metherell, 'Pressure on for republic convention', The Age, 29 March 1993.
- Tim Dodd and Peter Gill, 'Conservative opposition cracking', The Australian Financial Review, 29 March 1993.
- Paola Totari and Bernard Lagan, 'Murray promised a right royal blue', The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 March 1993.
- Malcolm Quekett and Randal Markey, 'Liberal split opens after republic call', The West-Australian, 29 March 1993.
- 'Coalition sparks as Libs embrace republic', The Canberra Times, 30 March 1993.
- Andrew Darby and Greg Roberts, 'March to republic gains pace', The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 1993.
- 'Push for republic grows', The Canberra Times, 31 March 1993.
- Matthew Warren, Peter Wilson and Natasha Bita, 'Liberal leader backs republic', The Australian, 31 March 1993.
- News release, John Howard, MP, Canberra, 1 April 1993.
- Media release, Senator Cheryl Kernot, Widen Republican Debate: Democrats, 13 April 1993.
- News release, Senator John Coulter, 15 April 1993.
- Anne-Marie McCarthy, 'Hamer breaks ranks and bows to the "inevitable"', The Age, 27 April 1993.
- P.M., Monday 26 April 1993.
- The Report of the Republic Advisory Committee, Volume 1, Commonwealth of Australia, 1993, p. iv.
- Michael Millett, 'First step towards a republic, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 1993.
- Lenore Taylor, Swearing in leaves the Queen out', The Australian, 28 April 1993.
- Transcript of Press Conference, John Hewson MP, Parliament House, Canberra, 29 April 1993.
- Media release, Tim Fischer MP, Leader of the National Party of Australia, 29 April 1993.
- Press release, Tim Fischer MP, 30 April 1993.
- Graham Downie, 'Archbishop gives "cautious support"', The Canberra Times, 30 April 1993.
- Tony Hewett, 'Youth demands a voice', The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 April 1993.
- Jamie Walker, 'Kernot attacks Keating cop-out', The Australian, 1 May 1993.
- Innes Willox, 'Hewson's call for republic report rejected by Sir Ninian', The Age, 1 May 1993.
- Nicholas Johnston, 'Coalition leaders deny republic rift', The Age, 5 May 1993.
- Hugo Kelly, 'Premiers face conflict over states' republic committee member', The Age, 5 April 1993.
- Amanda Hurley, 'Elected president gains popularity, survey finds', The West Australian, 5 May 1993.
- Ewin Hannan, 'Kennett demands more say for States', The Australian, 5 April 1993.
- Michael Millett, 'Queen and I: Howard explains the attraction', The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April 1993.
- D.D.McNicoll, 'Turnbull invites public comment on republic paper', The Australian, 13 May 1993.
- Frank Alcorta, 'NT scores a first on republic', The News, 21 May 1993.
- Statement by the Prime Minister, the Hon P.J.Keating MP, Republic Advisory Committee - State Representatives, Canberra, 25 May 1993.
- AAP, 'Truce out, republic becomes a debating bludgeon', The Canberra Times, 14 May 1995.
- Innes Willox, 'Keating wants to quit Commonwealth, says Hewson', The Age, 17 May 1993.
- Media release, Dr David Kemp MP, 27 May 1993.
- Republic probable, not inevitable; Libs, The Age, 27 May 1993.
- Richard Macey, "Republic team pads up for the first test', The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 May 1993.
- Errol Simper, 'Hewson staffer to fight republicans', The Australian, 4 June 1993.
- 'Republic opens door to dictatorship: Gibbs', The Australian, 5 June 1993.
- Press release, Republic Advisory Committee, 7 June 1993.
- Jodie Brough, 'Vow on Commonwealth', The Canberra Times, 9 June 1993.
- Anne Crawford, 'Wattle Day think of to replace royal holiday?', The Sunday Age, 13 June 1993.
- Madona King, 'Hewson's republic demands, PM challenged to meet strict criteria', The Australian 15 June 1993.
- Madonna King, 'Church leader rejects republic', The Australian, 18 June 1993.
- Mike Steketee, 'All is well in Greiner's republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 June 1993.
- 'Better off separate', The Bulletin, 22 June 1993.
- Keith Scott, 'Greiner warns Liberals', The Canberra Times, 23 June 1993.
- Transcript of Interview between John Hewson MP and Peter Couchman Program, Radio 3LO, 30 June 1993.
- Nick Richardson, 'Monarchist faithful follow the footsteps of history', The Australian, 3 July 1993.
- Lindsay Tanner, Federal Member for Melbourne, The Left and the Republic, July 1993.
- The Hon John Howard, MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Address to the 46th Annual council of The Australian Liberal Students' Federation, Trinity College, University of Melbourne, 8 July 1993.
- Nick Richardson, 'Republicans conscript Blinky', The Australian, 8 July 1993.
- Peter Weeks, 'Greens want broader debate on republic', The Australian, 10 July 1993
- Michael Millet, 'Liberal stand a blow to republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 1993.
- Chris Uhlmann, 'Republican issue "must be matter of conscience"', The Canberra Times, 11 July 1993.
- Alex Messina, 'Bid to widen republican debate', The Age, 14 July 1993.
- Tim Dodd, 'Monarchists raise doubts on referendum', The Australian Financial Review, 19 July 1993.
- Glenn Milne, '80pc want popular vote on head of State', The Australian, 19 July 1993.
- Editorial, 'A minimalist fantasy', The Age, 21 July 1993.
- Malcolm Quekett, 'Premier plans republic probe', The West-Australian, 22 July 1993.
- Tracey Aubin, '"Royal" beheaded as a title for new national bodies', The Canberra Times, 25 July 1993.
- Senator Ron Boswell, media release, 26 July 1993.
- Keith Scott, 'Hewson pushes hard line against republic', The Canberra Times, 26 July 1993.
- Senator Cheryl Kernot, media release, Sunday 1 August 1993.
- Dennis Muller, 'Push for republic loses some of its momentum', The Age, 9 August 1993.
- Jim Della-Giacoma and Scott Henry, 'Codify reserve powers; republicans', The Australian, 16 August 1993.
- Tony Stephens, 'Young Libs for republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 August 1993.
- Natasha Bita, 'Lib Minister ridicules monarchists', The Australian, 28 August 1993.
- Goeffrey Barker, 'Libs gag dissent in republican debate', The Age, 30 August 1993.
- 'Presidency not for me: Keating', The Canberra Times, 30 August 1993.
- 'Republicans lay claim to the wattle', The Canberra Times, 30 August 1993.
- 'Support for republic', The Age, 31 August 1993.
- Ross Peake, 'Republic for Aust to decide: Britain', The Canberra Times, 7 September 1993.
- Media release, The Hon Lynn M.F.Arnold MP, 9 September 1993.
- Media release, Governor-General Bill Hayden, 13 September 1993.
- Lenore Taylor, 'Survey results boost republic push', The Australian, 15 September 1993.
- Prime Minister Keating, press release, 19 September 1993, Leuchars, Scotland.
- Lenore Taylor, 'PM to use Olympics in push for republic', The Australian, 27 September 1993.
- 'Republican push will not mar visit by Prince Charles', The Canberra Times, 29 September 1993.
- 'Voters turn off PM's republic', The Australian, 29 September 1993.
- Amanda Meade, 'Keating stalls on debut of new flag', The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 September 1993
- Amanda Meade, 'Monarchists see republican plot in new pledge', The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 1993.
- The Report of the Republic Advisory Committee, 'An Australian Republic', The Options, vol. 1, p. 1.
- John Hewson, Leader of the Opposition, media release, 5 October 1993.
- Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, press release, 5 October 1993.
- 'Opinions on republic are firming: poll', The Canberra Times, 11 October 1993.
- Dennis Shanahan, 'Queen understands republican moves, says PM', The Australian, 23 October 1993.
- Peter Cole-Adams, 'Good-humoured Queen tells would-be republics: "I wish you well"', The Canberra Times 23 October 1993.
- Peter Lalor, 'Republic: the people shout no', The Sunday Herald-Sun, 24 October 1993.
- Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, press release, Republic Report "Wrong" - Gibbs change to a Republic "Shrouded in Doubt", 3 November 1993.
- Address by The Hon. John Howard, MP to the Samuel Griffiths Society Conference held at The Esplanade Hotel, Freemantle, 6 November 1993.
- Fia Cumming, 'Doubt on republic by 2000', The Sunday Herald-Sun, 14 November 1993.
- Senator Nick Bolkus, Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Multiculturalism and the Republic, 19 November 1993.
- Martin Daly, 'Republican cause near death: monarchists', The Age, 28 December 1993.
- Tony Wright, 'Prince gives republican movement his blessing', The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 1994.
- Keith Gosman, 'Don't panic about the republic - Charles', The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 1994.
- The Hon Kim C Beazley MP, Minister for Finance, 'Identifying National Interests and the Interest in Identity', Inaugural Sir John Monash Lecture and Opening of the Graduate School of Government, Monash University, 17 February 1994.
- Danielle Cook, 'Kerry takes crown as queen of the lobby', The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 March 1994.
- Tony Stephens, 'PM could legislate for a republic, says judge', The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 1994.
- Farah Farouque, 'Rift over monarchy comments', The Age, 15 April 1994.
- Crispin Hull, 'Carnell flags referendum on republic', The Canberra Times, 16 May 1994.
- Innes Willox, 'Downer takes hardline on plans to switch to a republic', The Age, 27 May 1994.
- Geoff Kitney, 'Keating signals end to push for a new flag', The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 1994.
- Rebecca Fowler and Tim Rayment of the Sunday Times and Fiona Harari, 'Defender of the Faith not for me: Charles', The Australian, 27 June 1994.
- Jodie Brough, 'Diehard Aussie Royalists give Charles a better deal than the English', The Canberra Times, 30 June 1994.
- Louise Dodson, 'A secret Libs cell opposes party line', The Australian Financial Review, 4 July 1994.
- ALSF, Media Information, 6 July 1994.
- Jodie Brough, 'Hewson hits at party's "Gestapo" line', The Canberra Times, 6 July 1994.
- Geoffrey Barker, 'Liberals soften line on republic', The Age, 6 July 1994.
- Linda Morris, 'Exposed: NSW Liberals closet republicans', The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 July 1994.
- Geoff Kitney, 'Federal Libs say republic is inevitable', The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 July 1994.
- Geoff Kitney, 'Federal Libs say republic is inevitable', The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 July 1994.
- Dennis Shanahan, 'Monarchists in threat tactics against top Tory', The Australian, 8 July 1994.
- Geoff Kitney and Tony Wright, 'Republic plan up to five years off,' The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 July 1994.
- Media release, Leader of the Opposition, Keating will hide republic details, 9 July 1994.
- Sir Rupert Hamer, 'Change inevitable, but largely symbolic', The Canberra Times, 9 July 1994.
- Peter Cole-Adams, 'Downer sidesteps Royal row', The Canberra Times, 11 July 1994.
- Mark Baker, 'It's not a power grab: Keating', The Age, 12 July 1994.
- Ross Peake, 'Widen republic debate, demand the Democrats', The Canberra Times, 13 July 1994.
- Rachel Hawes, 'Downer prods PM on republic', The Australian, 18 July 1994.
- 'Republic inevitable: Malcolm Fraser', The Canberra Times, 25 July 1994.
- Media release, The Liberal Party of Australia, NSW Division, 31 July 1994.
- Geoff Kitney and Mark Coultan, 'Back off republic, Howard tells Libs', The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 August 1994.
- Geoff Kitney, 'Keating renews push for local head of state', The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August 1994.
- Sonya Voumard and Geoff Kitney, 'Young Libs ignore gag on republic debate', The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August 1994.
- Margo Kingston, 'Downer in for torrid party row', The Canberra Times, 29 August 1994.
- Ross Peake, 'Teague breaks with policy', The Canberra Times, 30 August 1994.
- David Humphries, 'Jones declares minimalist republic option dead', The Australian, 1 September 1994.
- Debra Jopson and Bernard Zuel,' Dame Joan shows her True Brit', 7 October 1994.
- Mark Baker, 'Keating defers republican options', The Age, 8 October 1994.
- Milton Cockburn, 'Liberal voters welcome republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 November 1994.
- Leader of the Opposition Alexander Downer MP, Press Conference, Parliament House, Canberra, 10 November 1994.
- Tim Fischer MP, media release, 11 November 1994.
- Editorial, Policy is needed, not gimmicks, The Canberra Times, 19 November 1994.
- Malcolm Fraser, 'Royal antics muddy republic debate', The Australian, 24 November 1994.
- 'Young Libs urge support for an Australian republic', The Canberra Times, 12 January 1995.
- Colleen Egan, 'Group backs States' rights on republic', The Australian, 17 January 1995.
- Kendall Hill, 'Most favour direct vote for president', The Age, 26 January 1995.
- Geoff Kitney, 'Liberals to take softer stand on republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February 1995.
- Editorial, 'Options for electing a president', The Australian 10 March 1995.
- 'Fischer backs elected president', The Australian, 11 March 1995.
- Ian Henderson, 'Involve public in list for president: Kernot', The Canberra Times, 13 March 1995.
- Ross Peake, 'Kennett: chink in the republic armour', The Canberra Times, 17 March 1995.
- Tim Fischer, 'Republic debate must focus on election of president', The Australian, 17 March 1995.
- Rachel Gibson, 'Kennett revises republic remarks', The Age, 18 March 1995.
- Michelle Grattan, 'Labor lags on republic policy: Lib', The Age, 25 May 1995.
- Ian Ireland, An Australian Republic-The State of Play, Parliamentary Research Service, Research Note no. 53, 27 June 1995.
- Michelle Coffey and staff reporters, 'Kennett opposes Howard on convention', The Australian, 9 June 1995.
- Michelle Grattan, 'Howard to seek unity on republic', The Age, 10 June 1995.
- Bruce Jones, 'Howard left behind in rush to republic', The Sun Herald, 11 June 1995.
- Bruce Jones, 'Howard left behind in rush to republic', The Sun Herald, 11 June 1995.
- Ross Peake, 'Fischer, Howard republic conflict', The Canberra Times, 13 June 1995
- Peter Cole-Adams, 'Howard makes republic pledge', The Canberra Times, 12 June 1995.
- John Kerin, 'Brown vows to hold State referendum on republic', The Australian, 21 June 1995.
- James Murray, 'Archbishop backs Keating on president', The Australian, 4 July 1995.
- Maurice Byers, 'Presidential poll will lead to chaos', The Australian, 5 July 1995.
- Malcolm Fraser, 'The republic: an idea whose time will come', The Australian, 30 August 1995.
- Joanne Painter, 'ACTU united in support for republic plans', The Age, 28 September 1995.
- Geoff Kitney and Michael Millett, 'Hayden lashes PM's republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 1995.
- Brian Toohey, 'Figureheads are pretty expensive', The Australian Financial Review, 3 November 1995.
- Innes Willox, 'PM links republic to N-tests', The Age, 4 November 1995.
- AAP, 'Republic diversion tactic: Howard', The Canberra Times, 5 November 1995.
- Editorial, The Age, 9 November 1995.
- Michael Gordon and Dennis Shanahan, 'PM's president more powerful than Kerr Libs', The Australian, 11 November 1995.
- Graham Cooke, 'Examining republic choices', The Canberra Times, 14 November 1995.
- Patrick Lawnham, 'Republican debate tunes out of warring royals' soap opera', The Australian, 22 November 1995.
- 'Queen's role "bizarre"', The West-Australian, 24 November 1995.
- Sandra McKay, 'Cowen supports a full republic', The Age, 29 November 1995.
- Gabrielle Chan, 'UK envoy warns on republic debate', The Australian, 12 December 1995.
- Michael Gordon, 'Howard offers vision on national identity', The Australian, 14 December 1995.
- Peter Rees, 'People's President', The Sunday Telegraph, 17 December 1995.
- Rachel Gibson, 'Republic debate is unaffected, rivals agree', The Age, 22 December 1995.
- Bernard Lane, 'Public urged to debate reforms', The Australian, 1 January 1996.
- Sandra McKay, 'Outrage over queen-sized RSL row', The Age, 17 January 1996.
- Editorial, 'Carr acts to modernise the governor', The Australian, 17 January 1996.
- Amanda Meade, 'Opposition seeks vote on changes', The Australian, 17 January 1996.
- Randal Markey and Tamara Hunter, 'It's a Keating plot: Downer', The West-Australian, 18 January 1996.
- Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Press Release, 21 January 1996.
- Helen Pitt, 'A judge's battle hymn for the republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January 1996.
- Geoff Kitney and Tony Wright, 'Keating refuses to back down over republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 February 1996.
- 'Republic for debate', The Canberra Times, 11 February 1996.
- 'Fischer deflects hint of Coalition rift over republic direction', The Canberra Times, 13 February 1996.
- Cameron Stewart, 'Broaden scope of plebiscite question', The Australian, 15 February 1996.
- Senator Cheryl Kernot, 'Australian Democrats, Press Release 96/107, 14 February 1996.
- Kendall Hill, 'But it's only a toy, Howard tells nation', The Age, 15 February 1996.
- Ross Peake, 'Now it's a soft republic push', The Canberra Times, 15 February 1996.
- Michelle Grattan, 'Majority favours Australian head of state, poll finds', The Age, 20 February 1996.
- Stephen Lunn, 'Monarchists decry Carr's "republic by stealth"', The Australian, 1 March 1996.
- Lenore Taylor, 'Coalition plans early action over republic', The Australian, 23 March 1996.
- AAP, 'Coalition will honour republic promise: Fisher', The Canberra Times, 25 March 1996.
- Ben Huchings, 'Students support republic', The Australian, 9 April 1996.
- 'Republic inevitable: Anderson', The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 1996.
- John Kerin, 'Governor gives republic short shrift', The Australian, 3 May 1996.
- Ross Peake, The Canberra Times, 29 May 1996
- Niki Savva, 'Republic plan wins support', The Age, 30 May 1996
- Michael Millett, 'Senate key to vote on republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June 1996.
- John Kerin, 'States unable to retain monarchy in defiance of federal republic', The Australian, 10 June 1996.
- 'Liberal moves for a republic', The West-Australian, 26 June 1996.
- 'Senator wants a woman president', The West Australian, 9 July 1996.
- Michael Millett, 'Senate warned: hands off republic talks', The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 July 1996.
- Gabrielle Chan and Dennis Shanahan, 'Republic plebiscite would succeed', The Australian, 31 July 1996.
- Michael Gordon, 'Teens unanimous: We'll be a republic', The Australian, 5 August 1996.
- David Fagan, 'Cown, Mason back call for pre-convention poll on republic', The Australian, 9 August 1996.
- Peter Rees, 'Australian's don't want a republic', The Sunday Telegraph, 29 September 1996.
- John Kerin, 'Republic inquiry calls for referendums', The Australian, 24 October 1996.
- ny Stephens, 'Carr urges Senate reform', The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 1996, p. 10.
- Mary Delahunty, 'Power to the people as the century ends', The Australian, 25 November 1996, p. 13.
- Mike Steketee, 'Judge fears awesome powers of president', The Australian, 2 December 1999, p. 5.
- Michael Millett, 'Majority now want a republic', The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 1996.
- Senator Cheryl Kernot, Media Release, 4 December 1996.
- Leader of the Opposition, 'Transcript of Joint Press Conference with Gareth Evans, Shadow Treasurer and Senator Nick Bolkus, Shadow Attorney-General', 4 December 1996.
- Michael Gordon, 'Howard stalls on republic vote', The Weekend Australian, 14 December 1996.
- 'Monarchy less relevant but republic no better, says PM', The Age, 25 January 1997, p. A1.
- Niki Savva, 'Not enough knowledge for republic choice: McGarvie', The Age, 25 January 1997, p. A7.
- John Short, 'Cabinet to Cut Voters' Voice on Republic', The Australian, 27 January 1997, p. 1.
- Ross Peake., 'Cabinet may talk republic today', The Canberra Times, 28 January, p. 1.
- Niki Sava, 'Promise of republic convention reaffirmed', The Age, 29 January 1997, p. 2.
- 'Republican movement turns up heat on delaying tactic', The Canberra Times, 29 January 1997, p. 3.
- 'People win republic forum vote', The Australian, 5 February 1997, pp. 1-2.
- Niki Sava, 'Rivals get showdown on republic', The Age, 5 February 1997, p. 1.
- Ben Mitchell and Lindsay Murdoch, 'PM may brief Queen on republic moves', The Age, 10 February 1997, p. 4.
- Michael Gordon, 'Republic Ballot plan under fire', The Australian, 12 February 1997, p. 1
- Randal Markey, 'Republic plan not fair on WA: Court', The Western Australian, 12 February 1997, p. 1.
- Michelle Gratton, 'Coalition push for more detail on convention', The Australian Financial Review, 13 February 1997, p. 4.
- Mike Secombe, 'Nats take republic fight to the wire', The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February 1997, p. 5.
- Don Greenlees, 'Britain bows out of republic debate', The Australian, 20 February 1997, p. 4.
- David Luff, 'Coalition backs off from burning issue', The Daily Telegraph, 24 February 1997, p. 17.
- 'Nats warned on republic debate', The Sunday Canberra Times, 2 March 1997, p. 2.
- Manika Naidoo, 'Republic decision needed by 2010, says Treasurer', The Age, 15 March 1997.
- Gervase Green, 'Howard changes tack on convention', The Age, 27 March 1997, p. A3.
- Scott Emerson, 'Deane in call for republic tolerance', The Weekend Australian, 5 April 1997, p. 1.
- Carolyn Collins, 'Republic wins vote at centenary convention', The Australian, 24 April 1997, p. 3.
- Gervase Greene, 'Opposition nominates 36 for people's convention', The Australian, 1 May 1997, p. A5.
- Michelle Gratton, 'Sinclair, Jones to lead republic talks', The Financial Review, 11 June 1997, p. 12
- Michael Gordon, 'Sinclair's republic stance riles royalists', The Australian, 12 June 1997, p. 3.
- Gervase Green, 'Senate vote puts convention on republic in doubt', The Age, 19 June 1997, p. A7.
- Randal Markey, 'Republic low key: Howard', The Western Australian, 21 June 1997, p. 6.
- John Short, 'Green to derail Labor-Democrats on plebiscite', The Australian, 26 June 1997, p. 6.
- Ross Peake, 'Senate switch: republic hope up', The Canberra Times, August 29 1997, pp. 1-2.
- Ian Henderson and Jennifer Foreshaw, 'Howard gives youth a chance but Turnbull turns him down', 1 September 1997, The Australian, p. 11.
- 'Republic push: Canberra leads nation: Opinion Poll', The Canberra Times, September 13 1997, p. 1.
- Peter Cole-Adams, 'PM denies he has snap poll in mind', The Canberra Times, 13 September 1997, p. 1.
- Roger Martin, 'Court backs minimal switch to a republic', The Western Australian, 25 September 1997, p. 4.
- Stuart Washington, 'Wran rallies party troops for the republic', The Financial Review, 7 October 1997, p. 13.
- Mike Seccombe and Shaun Carney, 'Big names stand up for republican cause', The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 October 1997, p. 4.
- Tony Stephens, Leonie Lamont and Honey Webb, 'Elected president favoured by ARM', The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 October 1997, p. 9.
- Leonie Lamont, 'ACTU launches republic campaign', The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 1997, p. 11.
- Miranda Korzy, 'Monarchists dump Crown: republicans', The Sunday Canberra Times, 9 November 1997, p. 1.
- Michael Gordon, 'PM pledge gives boost to republic', The Australian, 10 November 1997.
- 'Stick with crowned republic: Howard', The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 1997, p. 3.
- Mike Steketee, 'News Poll: Towns divided on republic', The Australian, 3 December 1997, p. 4.
- 'News Poll: Are you in favour of Australia becoming a republic?, The Australian, 3 December 1997, p. 4.
- Kendall Hill, 'Republicans sweep the poll', The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 December 1997, p. 1.
- Adrian Rollins, 'Delegates start the fighting early', The Age, 24 December 1997, p. 2.
- 'Convention delegate calls for truce in war of words', The Canberra Times, 5 January 1998.
- Australian's for Constitutional Monarchy, Convention Policy, 13 January 1998, [http://www.abc.net.au/concon/position/acm.htm].
- Australian Republican Movement, Position Statement, 22 January 1998, [http://www.abc.net.au/concon/position/arm.htm].
- Michael Millett, 'PM questions shared monarch', The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 January 1998, p. 1.
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