The republican movement has gone back to its pre-referendum argument that Australia is not independent.
On Australia Day, 26 January, 2006 a piece appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, by Dr. Elaine Thompson who is described as a long time campaigner for an Australian republic.
She seems to want a convention to rewrite the constitution.
The curious view that Australia is not independent was strongly affirmed in December, 2005 on ABC radio by Mr Peter van Vliet, the republican movement’s Victorian Convenor.
I thought of this when I learned that the "Governor" of the South Yarra based "Principality of Camside", David Robert Siminton, had “declared war” on Australia on 5 March , 2003. He did this two days after ordering the Governor-General, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to stand trial for war crimes.
Peter Weekes , in The Sydney Morning Herald of 24 December 2005 (‘Governor’ at war with APRA) reported that Camside is one of what is believed to be a growing number of so- called independent principalities within the borders of Australia.
They are usually founded on the claim that the Australian Constitution is unconstitutional.
Mr Siminton says Camside is an “official foreign government structure under British law."
But when a challenge to the legitimacy of the Australian Parliament was heard recently in an English court, the court ruled that, contrary to the republican movement’s view, Australia is a independent country. This was also the subject of a unanimous ruling by our High Court.
Mr. Weekes reported estimates of the number of these micro-states vary between 20 and 100. The "citizens" claim that as they are not subject to Australian law, there is no need to pay income tax or council rates, they can issue their own passports, issue their own currency and establish their own banks to take deposits from other citizens.
Mr Weekes reports that the federal authorities have a different view and have already taken a number to court, resulting in large fines and in some case jail terms.
Mr Simonton said his “citizens” believe that the international banking system was illegal, in crisis and about to collapse. He said this was why Camside established its own bank, Terra Nova Cache, in 2003, offering annual returns of 50%.
According to the Herald, when a woman told a friend she intended to deposit the proceeds of the sale of her house with the bank. The friend became concerned, and notified the authorities.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority then asked the Federal Court in Melbourne to freeze the assets of Terra Nova Cache, stop new deposits and prevent Mr Siminton and his associates from advertising as a bank.
There are now a range of people who claim they are not subject to Australian law, some arguing that Australia is not independent of the UK. All of these claims will fail.
But it suggests a growing desperation on the part of the republican movement to join them in arguing that Australia is not an independent country.