In the second part of a three part address the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG reflected on the efforts that lead to the referendum in 1999 that resulted in the vote for the retention of the current system.

"the mistake that was basically made by those who advanced the republic idea was to move without first asking the question, should we change our system.  There was an assumption that we were going to change our system…I think that was a very serious flaw in the way Mr. Keating went about things," he said.

Mr. Kirby then highlighted the divisions amongst republicans and demonstrated how this means that constitutional change of this nature is unlikely to succeed in the foreseeable future.