Dr Anne Twomey is to speak at an ACM function on 28 March,2006 about her new book, “The Chameleon Crown: The Queen and Her Australian Governors” which has come as a bombshell in legal and political circles. It reveals precisely how our constitutional system was brought home in 1986.
Had this been known at the time of the 1999 referendum it could have had a significant effect on the result.
Dr Twomey lays bare the wheeling and dealing of high politics, with Whitlam, Murphy, Wran, Fraser and Hawke playing central roles.
Most of us thought Australia was fully independent by some time during the Second World War at the latest, but the fact is that our politicians so mistrusted one another that important functions were still left to British ministers as late as 1986. While we assumed this was a mere formality, Dr Twomey reveals the startling fact that as long as we wanted the British to have these powers, they were determined to exercise them conscientiously and independently – and certainly not as mere letterboxes for the Premiers.
This is no dull law book – it is an exciting account of something the politicians preferred to keep from us.
Bringing our constitutional system home was no easy task, and the solution finally and reluctantly extracted from Canberra represented a singular victory for the States. It was astounding then to the No case in 1999, that the states were so willing to throw this away in 1999. That solution, the Australia Acts, 1986, depended not only on a consensus between the federal and state governments and the concurrence of the British, but also the approval of The Queen, who was far from being, as is generally assumed, a passive rubber stamp.
Until now, we Australians were left ignorant about a major chapter of the Australian story. As a result of Dr.Twomey’s skills and perseverance we now know the truth. This must significantly change our understanding of the role and function of the Crown and of proposals for constitutional change.”
Dr Twomey is a leading constitutional lawyer, author, and Visiting Fellow at the university of New South Wales, will speak at a luncheon at Parliament House, Sydney at 12 for 1230PM on Wednesday, 28 March, 2007. Reservations may be made through the National Office. The cost of the lunch is $70, including GST. If you wish, you may reserve a a signed copy of the book at the special price of $45 including GST. If you cannot attend the lunch but would like to have a copy of the book posted to you the price , including postage, handling and GST is $50