April 20

Do not mention the republic – especially to the electors

A former Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, who is standing in the coming Federal election, clearly realises that republicanism is poison with the voters.

Ted O’Brien is the Liberal National candidate for the Queensland seat of Fairfax, held by retiring MP Alexander Somlyay  by a margin of 3.98 per cent in 2010.

Nowhere in his campaign material does Mr. O’Brien reveal to the electors of Fairfax the fact that he had been the Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement.

Nor does he say anything in his campaign material about his agenda about the constitution and for creeping republicanism.

..duty to reveal agenda…


ACM believes that as the head of a notoriously ultra republican group, one which is highly secretive about what changes it plans for our constitution, he should have revealed his involvement which was – let it be recalled – at the very highest level.

As we know, many republican politicians use their office to advance their agenda without any mandate from the people who elected them.

Neglecting their core functions, these politicians have improperly mounted a campaign against the symbols,  civil and military honours, royal patronage of charities, royal  portraits, coats of arms, oaths of allegiance (which they have themselves sworn), the Australian Flag, the rank of Queen’s Counsel, the role and function of the Australian Crown in the courts and in the parliaments, and in one instance, even expelling a Governor from Government House.

 All of this has been supported by the ARM, including the time when Mr. O'Brien headed the group. ( In recent times they say the Australian Flag is another issue, but the most prominent republicans still target the flag.) 

ACM believes the voters are entitled to know whether a candidate will in office use his or his time and taxpayer funded office to advance such a campaign. We are writing to Mr. O’Brien to ascertain his intentions in this matter. while ACM has never advised supporters how to vote in an election, we have tried to inform them of the position of the candidates.

Mr. O’Brien’s republican past was exposed by Bill Hoffman in the local newspaper, The Sunshine Coast Daily of 18 April, 2013. This emerged when Mr. O’Brien invited Australia’s highest rating commentator, Mr. Alan Jones AO, a “staunch monarchist” to speak at a fundraiser on 17 May at Maroochydore.

…still a republican…



Mr. O'Brien told the Sunshine Coast Daily that he maintained his own position on the need for Australia to become a republic but at the right time and under the right model.

He told Mr. Hoffman that the day for Australia to become a republic needed to be for the right reasons that were pro Australia rather than anti British.

"On that basis it would need to be an historic milestone or a positive, aspirational milestone and not the passing of a British monarch.''

Mr. O'Brien,” the report states,” makes no mention of his links to the Australian Republican Movement in his campaign literature, said the issue was a simple supply and demand equation. “

He told the newspaper that while the Commonwealth could supply the opportunity through a referendum, it would be only wise to do so when there was sufficient demand.


"Right now there is not sufficient demand. It's not on the political agenda,'' Mr O’Brien said. In this he reflects the conclusion of Julia Gillard and Dr. Bob Brown when they formed the Labor-Green government in 2010, effectively conceding that even pushing republicanism is poison in the electorate.


Mr. O'Brien said getting the right model was critical. He defined that as one that protects the existing Westminster system of government and that controlled the powers of the head of state.



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