The bill to remove the Royal Coat of Arms from public buildings in NSW has passed through parliament. The bill,now State Arms, Symbols and Emblems Act, 2004 was first introduced into the Legislative Council by the Independent MLC Peter Breen in 2003.
This year it passed through the Legislative Assembly after being introduced in that chamber by the Independent MP Clover Moore (now the new Lord Mayor of Sydney).
It has now been given royal assent and has become law. The new act provides for the removal of what is (incorrectly) termed the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom, from Parliament, the courts, the office of Governor and state instrumentalities and requires the State arms or State symbols to be used instead. It also empowers the Governor-in-Council to assign new State arms, symbols or emblems, to withdraw or alter any State arms or symbols, and to discontinue recognition of anything as a State emblem. A State Heraldry Advisory Committee which will advise the Premier on matters arising for decision under the proposed Act will also be established.
The Rev Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party (CDP) was most active in the NSW Parliament to prevent this time and money wasting bill from becoming law. The CDP has rightly condemned this political diversion from the more urgent tasks facing our state in its media releases concerning the new law. The CDP media releases can be found using the following links:http://www.cdp.org.au/fed/mr/040308af.asp and http://www.cdp.org.au/fed/mr/040227ff.asp
ACM considers that the provisions of this act will result in totally unnecessary expenditure on something which serves no purpose but to undermine the splendid heritage of NSW now so proudly displayed on our public buildings. It is another instance of republicanism by stealth.
A number of citizens wrote, without avail, to the Premier, to Mr Breen, to their local Member of Parliament or to the media in protest at the bill. The Daily Telegraph, Sydney’s highest circulating newspaper condemned the measure. It is unfortunate that moneys which could have been spent on our hospitals, our decaying railway system and on protecting our state against terrorism will now be spent on removing and replacing our splendid heritage from buildings in this state.
NSW has many pressing priorities at the present time. Republicanism by stealth is definitely NOT one of them.