The public meeting at Parliament House on Monday 7 March, the latest stage of ACM's long campaign to return the Governors of New South Wales to their purpose built home, was a great success.
The parliamentary host, the Rev Fred Nile, spoke about his long opposition to this and to creeping republicanism generally.
In particular he stressed the need for the Governor to have her own domain, and not be treated as another member of the government’s administrative staff, located in a government department building.
Jai Martinkovits, Young ACM spokesman, acting as MC, then called on the ACM National Convenor to brief the meeting on the campaign.
…the case against the eviction…..
Professor Flint argued the case against the eviction, demonstrating that this was concocted by the then Premier working closely with The Sydney Morning Herald.
The 1996 demonstration called by Kerry Jones and Lloyd Waddy QC for ACM proved one of the most peaceful and largest seen in Sydney.
He referred to two “white knights”in the campaign, the Rev Fred Nile and Alan Jones AO.
He presented 10 reasons ( supported by detailed evidence) why one aspect of the eviction plan was unconstitutional.
He argued that the eviction was wrong in principle, more costly, grossly unfair to the Governor, preventing appointments from anyone who does not have a home in Sydney, and has not increased public access. He demonstrated that the eviction was undertaken for a secret purpose only revealed years later.
He read a message of support from Doug Sutherland, former Labor Lord Mayor, and also cited former Labor Minister Rodney Cavalier, former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and even Prime Minister Keating.
The leading broadcaster Alan Jones gave a stirring speech “off the cuff”, referring to the need to respect the office of Governor who in the words of the 32nd Governor Sir Roden Cutler VC is the
official host to visiting heads of state and other leaders for New South Wales.
He pointed to the personal burdens imposed on the Governor, and supported much of what Professor Flint had argued.
….Leader of the Opposition's message….
He was followed by moving contributions by David Elliot, the 1999 ACM campaign director and candidate for Baulkham Hills, and David Clarke MLA.
Marie Ficarra MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, indicated his support, subject to any appropriate consideration which must be given to the arrangements prevailing for the present Governor Professor Bashir.
Thomas Flynn briefed the meeting on recent developments within ACM.
The meeting was mentioned on the nation’s highest rating radio programme, the Alan Jones programme on 2GB( 8/2) reported by Damien Murphy in his prominent daily column on the election in The Sydney Morning Herald (8/7) under the headline “ Monarchists storm ramparts” and in the web version, Royal Patronage.
Mr. Murphy began:
NSW Governor Marie Bashir should start packing her bags. An Australians for Constitutional Monarchy rally at Parliament has been all but assured that a Coalition government would make the Governor return to live in Government House.
The assembly was most obviously strongly behind the campaign. Given the likely result of the election, it would seem that ACM’s long fifteen year campaign will ultimately be successful.