There will be the usual demands that a referendum or plebiscite on a politicians' republic be held with the coming Federal election. This will be especially so if there is another referendum on hospitals as the Prime Minister proposes if the states do not agree with his proposals.
While it seems unlikely on polling trends that the Prime Minister would agree to a referendum or plebiscite on a politicians' republic, we just do not know what deals will be done behind the scenes.
Constitutional monarchists must therefore be vigilant, we must be as united as we were in 1998 at the Convention – and we must ready to campaign.
…a politicians’ republic…republicans only serious argument …
There was only one serious argument made by our republican opponents in the last referendum campaign. This was about the alleged need to have an Australian as Head of State. This was actually mentioned nine times – nine times – in the official Yes case. This was by far more than any other.
There is no doubt whatsoever that having an Australian as Head of State will be the centrepiece of the republicans' campaign in the next referendum or plebiscite. This remains their principal argument.
The best advice from constitutional and international lawyers in the referendum was, as the former Chief Justice Sir Harry Gibbs put it, “there is a strong argument that the Governor-General, although representative of the Queen, is the Head of State of Australia.”
That was the theme of the Parliament's highly successful NO case in 1999. This was supported by all MP's and Senators opposing the 1999 republic. This conclusion was strongly confirmed in recent years when ACM discovered a previously overlooked High Court decision handed down in 1907 by some of our leading our Founding Fathers.
These were the first Chief Justice, Sir Samuel Griffith, the first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, the first Australian born Governor-General, Sir Isaac Isaacs, Justice Henry Bournes Higgins (who gave the nation the Basic Wage) and Justice Richard O'Connor.
The judges unanimously declared that the Governor is the “Constitutional Head of State", the Governor-General the “Constitutional Head of the Commonwealth", and the King “The Sovereign". We have discussed this with leading lawyers who all agree that the judges meant exactly what they said. There has already been one attempt to say the judges did not really mean what they were saying.
….lunch with Sir David Smith…
As we have for many years, ACM will be celebrating The Queen's actual birthday on Wednesday 21 April. Sir David Smith has agreed to be the speaker at the Sydney celebrations.
His subject is "The Head of State Revisited".
The Official Secretary to five Governors-General, appointed delegate to the Constitutional Convention and to the official Vote No Committee, and distinguished author of the authoritative 2005 book, Head of State, there is no person more qualified to speak on this subject than Sir David. ( His book is available through ACM, phone 02 92512500.)
Incidentally, Sir David has recently been in the media to correct some of the recollections on matters viceregal by Mr. Malcolm
….educating the young on the constitution…
In addition we are inviting the winner and runners up of our 2009 Neville Bonner Oration schools competition to meet our supporters. ACM is making considerable headway here.
…..lunch in a magnificent heritage jewel….
The celebrations will be over lunch in Cello’s Restaurant in the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel Level 4, 169 Castlereagh Street, in the centre of Sydney, between Park and Market Streets.
This magnificent heritage jewel was opened in 1927 and is now one of the last grand dining rooms in Sydney. It boasts modern cuisine complimented by traditional silver service. ACM is offering a two course meal with cash bar at a special price of $65 including GST. (Country and interstate visitors may find it convenient to stay at the hotel.)
Bookings may be made by telephoning Miss Geraldine Lowe at (02) 9251 2500 or by printing the form below and posting or faxing it to ACM
ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR!
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
For bookings, either phone 9251 2500 or print the following form and post it to ACM at GPO Box 9841, Sydney 2001, or fax to 02 9261 5033.