We have been asked what form submissions should take to the Senate Finance & Public Administration Committee. The important thing is that submissions MUST be received by 6 February, 2009, the 57th Anniversary of the Accession of HM The Queen.
Our comment, “A plebiscite with the next election? Sen.Brown's irresponsible, wasteful bill” made on 3 December, 2008, is on our website. This contains the Bill, the Explanatory Memorandum, and Senator Brown’s Second Reading Speech.
A Guide for making Submissions is on the Senate site.
Remember, the organisers of the bill of rights consultation are using the number of submissions received in earlier inquiries as evidence of public attitudes. While the question of a bill of rights does not fall into the ACM's remit, this is an indication that the number of submissions will be used, but only if they are significantly in favour of the plebiscite.
Just as an example of the sort of submission which could be made, the following is a guide. We do not recommend you copy it. But add to and remove from it, and change the language of any provision which appeals to you.
The most important thing is that it arrive by 6 February.
[ Sample submission only ]
Finance & Public Administration Committee,
Canberra, ACT 2600.
or by fax (02) 6277 5809
Plebiscite for an Australian Republic Bill, 2008
In response to the invitation to make a submission on this bill, I wish to put the following to the Committee for their consideration:
o There is only one way to change the constitution. This is a referendum. So why isn’t it being used?
o Details of the proposed republic are being kept secret. Surely we should know what is being planned before we vote.
o The smaller states are not protected as in a referendum. For a referendum to pass, it must be approved by a national majority and also by a majority in at least four states. Some lawyers think a referendum on such a basic change would need to be approved in all states.
o This plebiscite invites the people to reject the existing constitution without knowing what is to be put in its place.
o If passed it will lead to a period of constitutional instability.
o It will be costly, and add to the millions and millions already spent on various attempts to persuade the people to support a republic.
o In 1999 every state and 72% of electorates said no to the republicans’ preferred model.
o Don’t the republicans understand that No means No?
o The agenda of many if not most republicans includes changing our flag.
I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt.
( Name, postal address and phone number)
Note: Please keep my postal and email addresses and my phone number confidential