August 19

Royal family puts government officials to shame

According to the editor of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph (19/8), if you need help with your car registration contact The Queen rather than the New South Wales government agency the RTA. Her Majesty will  get back to you “faster than will the RTA. Probably with less of the high-and-mighty attitude, too.”

The newspaper carries a report  by Gemma Jones under these headlines: “Quick-write Queen puts RTA to shame. IF YOU ever get fed up waiting for the RTA to respond to a complaint – try The Queen, Prince Charles or Prince William.”  The letters related to an important issue: the demolition of colonial buildings to make room for an underground or metro railway station.

The politicians and the RTA official must not use the underground when they visit cities like London or Paris. In neither city has the building of the underground involved the demolition of heritage buildings.

It seems that since our report here about an earlier Telegraph story “Their Queen listens; the republican politicians don't” on 2 December, 2006, politicians have improved. Both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition responded promptly.


The 2006 report demonstrated that The Queen in 2006 replied earlier than a range of state ministers. The Daily Telegraph had published a table (“Down to the letter”) comparing the responses of The Queen with several ministers who had voted to remove the Oath of Allegiance to The Queen.

The republican ministers included Frank Sartor who was previously Lord Mayor of Sydney. During his term, the Town Hall and nearby streets were surrounded with banners urging people to vote for the republic proposed in the 1999 referendum.

We remain at a loss to understand how this expenditure of thousands of dollars of ratepayers’ funds to campaign in a federal referendum could possibly be justified as a proper expense of the City of Sydney.

These were the results of the comparison which really shames our republican ministers: The Queen responded in 16 days.

These were the response rates of the ministers:

Michael Costa: 1 letter, 7 weeks to reply; Frank Sartor: 5 letters, 4 weeks to receive a reply that passed the buck; Morris lemma: 3 letters, 4 weeks to receive three letters; Eric Roozendaal: 3 letters, 2 replies each took 4 weeks; John Hatzistergos: 2 letters, 4 weeks to receive one written reply, and John Watkins: 10 letters, 7 replies, took up to 4 weeks each.


And these republican ministers want to get rid of The Queen. They receive good salaries, and generous expenses.

In the meantime three former NSW republican premiers, the Hon Bob Carr, the Hon Neville Wran QC, the Hon Nick Greiner cost NSW taxpayers well over one million dollars a year in expenses, although they have lucrative business interests and generous mainly taxpayer funded superannuation. (The former premier, the Hon. Barrie Unsworth, to his great credit, costs us nothing.)

The former premiers are not required to restrict this expenditure to matters unrelated to business. The NSW government pays The Queen nothing, and makes no provision for Her Majesty’s superannuation.

No wonder the people rejected the politicians' republic.  


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