January 27

Diamond Jubilee intiative by NSW MP


This is a report in the section on the Diamond Jubilee on the ACM site.

New South Wales  MP David Elliott has taken action to allow constituents to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  

A newspaper circulating in Mr Elliott's electorate of Baulkham Hills, the Hills Shire Times of 10 January, reported that if you wished  to pay tribute to the Queen on her 60 years on the throne, you could until Australia Day sign a card to her at Mr Elliott's office.  After Australia Day Mr Elliott would send the card to Buckingham Palace.  There was a similar report in another newspaper circulating in the electorate, the Hills News of 17 January.

Mr Elliott told the Hills Shire times "The Queen embodies all the best characteristics of our Commonwealth, devotion to country, devotion to the community and unity of all peoples under one banner.”

As the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will continue throughout the year, the British celebrations being in June around the Queen's Birthday, other Australian members of Parliament may wish to launch similar initiatives to Mr Elliott. 

…David Elliott, monarchist…

Mr Elliott rose to the rank of captain in the Australian Army and was awarded the Australian service medal for his service in the peacekeeping force in Bougainville Papua New Guinea.  He was appointed ACM's National Campaign Director for the referendum campaign in 1999, reporting to me through the Executive Director Mrs Kerry Jones .  

For that he organised an hierarchical structure which reached into every federal electorate through ACM's State and Territory divisions.  At the time of the referendum, there were 55,000 rank-and-file supporters working for the no case.  In addition he was the executive to what was the ACM national “high command” which during the heat of the campaign, met every morning.

I remember being told by a person very high in the Yes case how admirable, effective and disciplined the No case was.  There were in fact two divisions of the No case. 

First there was the official No case committee chaired by Kerry Jones consisting of eight ACM members and two independent republicans. The committee was principally concerned with the No case advertising campaign, which presented a united front. The committee proved to be more effective both as to the timing and quantity of advertising than the Yes case. Their best decision was to use former prime ministers Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam, whose joint advertisement no doubt ensured an increased number of No votes.

The other division of the No case was the ACM campaign which had a limited advertising budget, but offices and paid staff in every state capital and Canberra, and a large group of rank-and-file supporters allocated to each electorate. In contrast, the ARM outsourced its manpower needs to the Labor Party and the ACTU.

Kerry Jones and David Elliott were crucial in establishing this and managing what turned out to be a formidable machine and resulted in the landslide No vote which won nationally, in every State and the Northern Territory, and 72% of federal electorates.

A report on his maiden speech follows.



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