March 7

Confusion: is it on or is it off, Mr. Attorney?

"The four potential referendum questions are obviously the republic, the recognition of indigenous Australians, the third is local government and the fourth is this issue of co-operative federalism," Federal Attorney General Robert McClelland was quoted as saying in the Australian Financial Review at the time of Prince William’s visit (“Change the flag to…. I don't know what :Ray Martin”, 25/1).

When Susannah Moran asked him about this for The Australian’s Legal Affairs pages (5/3) she reported that  Mr. McClelland wasn't as keen on the idea.

He said any referendum "is incredibly difficult to achieve". He also thought it was "pointless" to pursue any referendum question without knowing there was "overwhelming support" from the public because it could disengage them on the issue."I don't think the time has come where Australians are of that mindset," Mr McClelland said. That clears that up, concludes Ms. Moran.


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