1998 Australian Constitutional Convention

Last updated

1998 Australian Constitutional Convention
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
StatusDefunct
Genre Constitutional Convention
Begins2 February 1998 (1998-02-02)
Ends13 February 1998 (1998-02-13)
Venue Old Parliament House
Location(s) Parkes , Canberra
CountryAustralia
People The Right Honourable Ian Sinclair MP (Co-chair);
The Honourable Barry Jones AO MP (Co-chair)

The 1998 Australian Constitutional Convention was a Constitutional Convention which gathered at Old Parliament House, Canberra from 2 to 3 February 1998. It was called by the Howard Government to discuss whether Australia should become a republic. The convention concluded with "in principle support" for an Australian republic (with a dissenting minority voting for a continuation of the Australian constitutional monarchy) and proposed a model involving appointment of the head of state by Parliament. [1] The model was put to a referendum in November 1999 and rejected by the Australian electorate.

In Australian history, the term Constitutional Convention refers to four distinct gatherings.

Old Parliament House, Canberra former house of the Parliament of Australia

Old Parliament House, known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House, was the seat of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. The building began operation on 9 May 1927 after Parliament's relocation from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra. In 1988, the Commonwealth Parliament transferred to the new Parliament House on Capital Hill. It also serves as a venue for temporary exhibitions, lectures and concerts.

Canberra capital city of Australia

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory; 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne.

Contents

Background

Australia remains a constitutional monarchy under the Australian Constitution adopted in 1901, with the duties of the head of state performed by a Governor-General selected by the Australian Prime Minister. Australian republicanism has persisted since colonial times, though for much of the 20th century, the monarchy remained popular. In the early 1990s, republicanism became a significant political issue. Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Paul Keating indicated a desire to instigate a republic in time for the Centenary of the Federation of Australia in 2001. The opposition Liberal-National Coalition, led by Alexander Downer, though less supportive of the republic plan, promised to convene a Constitutional Convention to discuss the issue. Under John Howard, the Coalition won the 1996 Federal Election and set the Convention date for February 1998. [2]

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Monaco, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Japan, where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

Governor-General of Australia Representative of the monarch of Australia

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.

Australian Labor Party Political party in Australia

The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.

Composition

The convention took place at Old Parliament House, Canberra. Old Parliament House Canberra NS.jpg
The convention took place at Old Parliament House, Canberra.

The convention comprised 152 delegates from all of the states and territories of Australia – half elected by voluntary postal vote and half appointed by the federal government. Of the appointees, 40 were representatives of the commonwealth, state and territory parliaments. Various pro-republican and pro-monarchy delegates were elected and various parliamentary and non-parliamentary delegates were appointed including state and territory leaders. The convention was chaired by the Right Honourable Ian Sinclair MP , of the National Party of Australia with the Honourable Barry Jones AO MP of the Australian Labor Party as deputy chairman. [3]

States and territories of Australia first-level subdivision of Australia

Government in the Commonwealth of Australia is exercised on three levels: federal, states and territories, and local government.

Republicanism in Australia

Republicanism in Australia is a movement to change Australia's system of government from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Republicanism was first espoused in Australia before Federation in 1901. After a period of decline after Federation, the movement again became prominent at the end of the 20th century after successive legal and socio-cultural changes loosened Australia's ties with the United Kingdom.

The prefix The Honourable or The Honorable is an honorific style that is used before the names of certain classes of people.

Prominent advocates

Parliamentarians

Sitting members of the Liberal-National Party Coalition were permitted a free vote on the republican issue, while the Australian Labor Party (ALP) adopted the republican position as a matter of party policy. Senior Liberals split on the issue, with the Prime Minister, John Howard, supporting the status quo and the Treasurer, Peter Costello, supporting a republic. [2] Other representatives of the government at the convention included the Attorney General, Daryl Williams, the Minister for the Environment, Robert Hill, and the Minister for Social Security, Jocelyn Newman, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, and other Members of Parliament. The Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, was accompanied by colleagues Gareth Evans, John Faulkner and others, while the Australian Democrats sent Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

Peter Costello Australian politician

Peter Howard Costello, AC, is a former Australian politician and lawyer who served as the Treasurer in the Australian Howard Government from 1996 to 2007. He is the longest-serving Treasurer in Australia's history. Costello was a Member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1990 to 2009, representing the Division of Higgins. He also served as the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 1994 to 2007.

Daryl Robert Williams is a former Australian politician who was a member of the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2004, representing the Liberal Party. He was Attorney-General in the Howard Government from 1996 to 2003.

Robert Hill (Australian politician) Australian politician

Robert Murray Hill AC is a retired Australian politician. He is an Adjunct Professor in Sustainability and Co-Director of the Alliance 21 project at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He is also a Commissioner of the Global Ocean Commission.

The states all sent three representatives including their premiers and opposition leaders, while the territories were represented by their chief ministers. [3] Premiers Bob Carr (New South Wales), Jeff Kennett (Victoria), Rob Borbidge (Queensland), Richard Court (Western Australia), John Olsen (South Australia) and Tony Rundle (Tasmania) attended, along with chief ministers Kate Carnell (Australian Capital Territory) and Shane Stone (Northern Territory).

Bob Carr Australian politician; 39th Premier of New South Wales

Robert John Carr is a retired Australian politician who served as Premier of New South Wales from 1995 to 2005, as the leader of the Labor Party. He later entered federal politics as a New South Wales senator, and served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2013.

Jeff Kennett Australian politician; Premier of Victoria, President of Hawthorn Football Club

Jeffrey Gibb Kennett AC is a former Australian politician who was the 43rd Premier of Victoria between 1992 and 1999 and a current media commentator. He is the President of Hawthorn Football Club. He previously was president from 2005 – 2011. He is the founding Chairman of beyondblue, a national organisation "working to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community".

Robert Edward Borbidge is a former Australian politician who served as the 35th Premier of Queensland from 1996 to 1998. He was the leader of the Queensland branch of the National Party, and was the last member of that party to serve as premier. His term as premier was contemporaneous with the rise of the One Nation Party of Pauline Hanson, which would see him lose office within two years.

ARM and ACM

A number of members of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) attended the convention. ARM was established in July 1991 and comprised distinguished Australian intellectuals, politicians and former politicians, business people, students and other citizens who supported an Australian republic. A number of Australian Labor Party supporters and members were attracted to the organisation, though its leader from 1993 to 2000 was future Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. [2] [4] Prominent delegates at the Convention included media personalities Steve Vizard and Eddie McGuire, businesswoman Janet Holmes à Court and businessman Lindsay Fox. [1]

Malcolm Turnbull 29th Prime Minister of Australia

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is an Australian former politician who was the 29th Prime Minister of Australia from 2015 to 2018. He served twice as Leader of the Liberal Party, firstly from 2008 to 2009 when he was also Leader of the Opposition, and a second time from 2015 to 2018. He was the MP for Wentworth in the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2018.

Steve Vizard Australian businessman and television personality

Stephen William Vizard is an Australian television and radio presenter, lawyer, comedian, producer, author and screenwriter.

Eddie McGuire Australian media personality and television host

Edward Joseph McGuire AM is an Australian radio and television presenter and AFL promoter.

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy was established in 1992, after Prime Minister Keating announced his republican agenda. The organisation was called together to counter the republican movement by Justice Michael Kirby and like minded constitutional monarchists including Lloyd Waddy QC , Aboriginal statesman Neville Bonner, Chancellor of the University of Sydney Dame Leonie Kramer, Helen Sham-Ho (the first Chinese-born member of an Australian Parliament), Doug Sutherland (former Labor Lord Mayor of Sydney) and others.

Later, former Labor leader and Governor General Bill Hayden joined the organisation and membership grew to more than 30,000 registered supporters nationwide. Justice Kirby argued that a constitutional monarchy is "a system of government for those committed to effective checks on rulers and to liberal democracy". Kirby resigned from the organisation upon being appointed a judge of the High Court of Australia and did not participate in the Convention. ACM recruited Tony Abbott as its first full-time executive director, although his membership also ceased following pre-selection as a Liberal candidate for election to the Federal Parliament in March 1996. Kerry Jones was then appointed executive director of ACM in his place. She and Lloyd Waddy led ACM through the 1998 Constitutional Convention and the 1999 referendum. [2] Don Chipp, founder of the Australian Democrats, was one of ACM's delegates at the Convention.

Others

Smaller republican groupings included "A Just Republic", the "Real Republic" group, the Clem Jones "Queensland Constitutional Republic Team" and the Ted Mack group. Other monarchist groups included the "Constitutional Monarchists" group, the Australian Monarchist League and "Safeguard the People". Other minor Australian political parties with elected representatives included the Shooters Party, the Christian Democrats (Fred Nile Group). A number of individuals were elected under other grouping names, including lawyer Jason Yat-Sen Li ("A Multi-Cultural Voice") and Misha Schubert ("Republic4U – The Youth Ticket").

Six Indigenous delegates participated in the Convention, including magistrate Pat O'Shane, who was vocal in support of a republic and monarchist Neville Bonner, Australia's first Aboriginal parliamentarian, who ended his contribution to the Convention with a Jagera Tribal Sorry Chant in sadness at the deception practised by republicans. The Republican Model, as well as a proposal for a new Constitutional Preamble which would have included the "honouring" of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. [5]

Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen and Glen Sheil represented the group named "Constitutional Monarchists", while prominent Returned and Services League spokesman Bruce Ruxton represented the monarchist "Safeguard the People" group and Brigadier Alf Garland represented the Australian Monarchist League. Ted Mack and Phil Cleary were prominent independent republicans.

Clergy from the major churches were appointed as delegates: the Catholic Church in Australia's George Pell and the Anglican Church of Australia' s Peter Hollingworth; while republican Tim Costello, a prominent Baptist minister was elected as a representative for Victoria from the "Real Republic Group".

Other appointees included academics, such as historian Geoffrey Blainey and Sydney University chancellor Leonie Kramer; legal and constitutional experts such as law professor Greg Craven retired judge Richard McGarvie and public servant David Smith. Former Vice Regal office holders were also appointed, including former Governor of South Australia Dame Roma Mitchell and former Governor General Bill Hayden. Senior business appointees included Sir Arvi Parbo and Donald McGauchie. Journalist delegates included Mia Handshin and Miranda Devine.

Debate and conclusions

The Convention debated the need for a change to the Constitution of Australia which would remove the monarchy from a role in Australian government and law. According to the final communiqué issued by the Convention, three questions were considered: [6]

Whether or not Australia should become a republic; which republic model should be put to the voters to consider against the current system of government; in what time frame and under what circumstances might any change be considered.

Delegates advocated a range of positions from no-change to minimal change to radical change. According to the final communique:

Three categories of model for a possible Australian republic were before the convention. They were: direct election, parliamentary election by a special majority, and appointment by a special council following prime ministerial nomination.

"In principle" agreement was reached by a majority of delegates for an Australian Republic (though a minority bloc of Monarchists dissented). [1] Following a series of votes, a proposal for a "Bipartisan Appointment of the President Model" for an Australian republic was endorsed by a majority of delegates who voted for or against the motion (monarchists and some radical-change republicans abstained from the vote). According to hansard, the vote for the Bi-Partisan model was: "for" 73, "against" 57 with 22 abstentions. [7]

The final communiqué recommended that Parliament establish a committee responsible for considering the nominations for the position of president and consult widely in the community and compile a shortlist for the Prime Minister. Taking into account the recommendations of the committee, the Prime Minister would then present a single nominee, seconded by the Opposition Leader to a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament which must gain a two-thirds majority in order to be endorsed. The president could be removed at any time by a notice in writing signed by the Prime Minister, however if the House of Representatives failed to ratify this dismissal, the president would be eligible for re-appointment. The powers of the president were to be those of the existing office of Governor General of Australia. [6]

The Convention recommended that state parliaments also examine the issue of the republic, as each state has separate and individual constitutional links to the monarchy. Certain recommendations were made for a new Constitutional preamble which included introductory language along the lines of "we the Australian people", and referencing "Almighty God", custodianship and occupancy of Australia by Indigenous Australians; as well as affirmations of the law, cultural diversity, unique land and environment and democratic political system of Australia. [6]

The new Australian republic was to retain the name Commonwealth of Australia.

The Convention recommended to the Prime Minister and Parliament of Australia that the model, and other related changes to the Constitution, supported by the convention, be put to the people in a constitutional referendum in 1999. [6]

The minimalist McGarvie Model developed by former Governor of Victoria, Richard McGarvie, and originally submitted to the Republic Advisory Committee in 1993, was the second most popular model of the four voted upon. Republican delegates Clem Jones, Ted Mack, Pat O'Shane, Paul Tully and Paddy O'Brien held out for greater change to the Constitution than the more minimalist model ultimately proposed. [8]

Arguments by key advocates

Prime Minister John Howard supported the constitutional monarchy. The Liberal-National Coalition permitted their members a free vote on the issue. Image-Howard2003upr.JPG
Prime Minister John Howard supported the constitutional monarchy. The Liberal-National Coalition permitted their members a free vote on the issue.
Opposition Leader Kim Beazley supported the republic. His Australian Labor Party adopted the republic as official party policy. Kim Beazley crop.jpg
Opposition Leader Kim Beazley supported the republic. His Australian Labor Party adopted the republic as official party policy.

In his address to the opening session of the Convention, Liberal Prime Minister John Howard outlined his support for retaining the status quo on the basis that it has provided a long period of stability and said he believed that the "separation of the ceremonial and executive functions of government" and the presence of a neutral "defender of constitutional integrity" was an advantage in government and that no republican model would be as effective in providing such an outcome as the Australian monarchy: [9]

In my view, the only argument of substance in favour of an Australian republic is that the symbolism of Australia sharing its legal head of state with a number of other nations is no longer appropriate. As a matter of law, Elizabeth II is Queen of Australia. As a matter of indisputable constitutional convention, the Governor-General has become Australia's effective head of state.

It will ultimately be for the Australian people to resolve this theoretical conflict between our history and present day constitutional reality – to decide whether removing the symbolism which many see as inappropriate in our present arrangements – counts more than the stability and inherent strength of the existing order.

I oppose Australia becoming a republic because I do not believe that the alternatives so far canvassed will deliver a better system of government than the one we currently have. I go further – some will deliver a worse outcome and gravely weaken our system of government. I believe that modern government is most workable where the essentially ceremonial functions of government are separated from the day to day executive responsibilities.

Prime Minister John Howard

The Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, of the National Party said that the Australian Constitution had delivered one of the "oldest continuous federated democracies in the world" and that changing it would be a complex operation: [10]

The case for changing our mighty Constitution which has helped modernise Australia remains distant, divided and ill-defined. I say: stay with a system that works and works well.

Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley of the Australian Labor Party advocated "minimalist" change. He described transition to a republic as "unfinished business" for Australia and said that foreigners "find it strange and anachronistic, as many Australians now clearly do, that our Head of State is not an Australian". The ALP proposed appointment of a president by two-thirds majority of parliament. In his opening address, Beazley told the Convention: [11]

Our nation is a republic in all but name. We argue that we as a nation should recognise the reality of our small "r" republican arrangements by making the necessary adjustments to place the capping stone on that structure – a Head of State who is unambiguously Australian – a Head of State who is one of us.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley

Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello advocated for a republic. He rejected any suggestion that Australia was not already an independent nation and said that, while the Australian Constitution works "remarkably well", it was the institution of monarchy that was the crux of his argument for change: [12]

It is commonly said that all this argument is about is whether we want an Australian as our head of state. If that were all we wanted, one of the options to fix it would be an Australian monarchy but, in truth, the problem is more the concept of monarchy itself. The temper of the times is democratic; we are uncomfortable with an office that appoints people by hereditary. In our society in our time we prefer appointment by merit.

Treasurer Peter Costello

Pat O'Shane, a magistrate and indigenous woman expressed a desire for change based on what she perceived as historical injustice and present inadequacies within the Australian Constitution: [13]

That modern Australia, the Australia that has developed since 26 January 1788 as distinct from the Australia of my ancestors, has a constitutional monarchy is a direct unambiguous consequence of our origins as a colony of Britain—a penal colony at that. As such, it was underwritten with the values of power, privilege, elitism, oppression and dispossession. It was blatantly exclusionary. It is no wonder then that the Australian Constitution, designed to institute a constitutional monarchy as the system of government in this country, is such an inadequate and uncertain instrument as it is.

Magistrate Pat O'Shane

Indigenous delegates were divided, however. Former Senator Neville Bonner made an impassioned defence of the constitutional monarchy, describing efforts to change it as "senseless division" and a distraction from the real problems facing Australia: [10]

You [non-indigenous Australians] came to my country. You invaded my land. You took our Earth (our everything). .... And then slowly you began to change ... You began to accept that my people had rights; that they were entitled to respect ...

We have come to accept your laws. We have come to accept your Constitution. We have come to accept the present system. We believed you when you said that a democracy must have checks and balances. We believed you when you said that not all positions in society should be put out for election. We believed you when you said that judges should be appointed, not elected. We believed you when you said that the Westminster system ensures that the government is accountable to the people. We believed you when you taught us that integral to the Westminster system is a head of state who is above politics. We believed you when you said that, as with the judiciary, Government House must also be a political-free zone. We believed you when you said that it is not important that the Crown has greater powers and that what was important was that the Crown denies those powers to the politicians ...

I cannot see the need for change. I cannot see how it will help my people. I cannot see how it will resolve the question of land and access to land that troubles us. I cannot see how it will ensure that indigenous people have access to the same opportunities that other Australians enjoy. Fellow Australians, what is most hurtful is that after all we have learned together, after subjugating us and then freeing us, once again you are telling us that you know better. How dare you?

Neville Bonner

Kerry Jones, leader of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy defended the Australian Constitution, saying "no republic model will ever offer the protection and safeguards that work so well in our current Constitution". She said her task was to "assess each republican model against the Constitution that has served us so well": [14]

I had become a constitutional monarchist—not out of my love of English blood, for my blood is actually Irish; not out of birth in the Protestant establishment, for I am actually a Catholic; not out of enthusiasm for all things royal, for I have little interest in such trivia. I had become a constitutional monarchist because I was persuaded, as was Michael Kirby, that the system of government bequeathed to us by our founders is superior to any republican models proposed.

Kerry Jones, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy

Delegates examined various models for a republic. Independent republican delegate Phil Cleary argued the case for direct-election of a president and questioned the motivations of "conservative" republicans: [14]

About the time of the last convention one of our greatest poets, Henry Lawson, claimed that Australians would doff their hat to no man and call no biped master. Now the best the conservative wing of the republican leadership can offer the people is an appointed president—a president palatable to the major parties. Their justification is pure scaremongering ... What are they frightened of? Do they fear a creative tension in the political system, or is it more that they fear giving up their power or their loss of influence?

Phil Cleary

Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Australian Republican Movement, cautioned against mixing the roles of President and Prime Minister in a direct election system, telling the Convention: [12]

Mr Clem Jones has proposed a directly elected model that would give the president additional powers. We believe that is not a good option. We feel that a directly elected president should either have no powers—for example, as in Ireland—or be the chief executive of the nation, as in the case of the United States. We think the French arrangement, where executive power is shared in a very confused fashion between the President and the Prime Minister, is the worst of all options. So I would say that we either go to Dublin for a directly elected president or we go to Washington; the Paris option, for the reasons advanced by Mr (Bob) Carr, is not on.

Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Republican Movement

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell, supported change, but noted "Without support from most of the front benches of both sides of the parliament, it would be wasteful to go to a referendum." Towards the end of proceedings, he called on conservatives to support change: [7]

All conservatives here should realise that they will never get a better result out of a convention than they have done here. It will certainly be no less difficult for a tyrant to abuse the office of Prime Minister or president. That is fundamental; we all agree. The preamble has been voided of legal significance, the reserve powers are retained and, with partial codification, this will in practice make them stronger because they will become less unpredictable and less offensive.

George Pell, Archbishop of Melbourne

Aftermath

Two proposals to amend the Australian Constitution were submitted to the Australian electorate in November 1999. If approved, the referendum would have established a republican system of government in Australia. The referendum held on 6 November 1999 failed to achieve the support of either a majority of voters or a majority of states. The national vote of the electors in favour of Australia becoming a republic was 45.13%, with 54.87% against. [15] Australia remains a constitutional monarchy. [2]

Delegates

Malcolm Turnbull led the Australian Republican Movement Malcolm Turnbull at the Pentagon 2016 cropped.jpg
Malcolm Turnbull led the Australian Republican Movement
Justice Michael Kirby founded Australians for Constitutional Monarchy --though he retired from the organisation prior to the Convention following his appointment as a judge of the High Court of Australia Michael Donald Kirby.jpg
Justice Michael Kirby founded Australians for Constitutional Monarchy though he retired from the organisation prior to the Convention following his appointment as a judge of the High Court of Australia
Liberal Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett (republican) attended as an appointed delegate along with all the State and Territory leaders and State opposition leaders J.kennett.jpg
Liberal Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett (republican) attended as an appointed delegate along with all the State and Territory leaders and State opposition leaders
Labor Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr (republican) Bob Carr.jpg
Labor Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr (republican)
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja (republican) represented the Australian Democrats Natasha Stott Despoja Portrait 2012.jpg
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja (republican) represented the Australian Democrats
Don Chipp, founder of the Australian Democrats, was a delegate for Australians for Constitutional Monarchy DonChipp-1977.jpg
Don Chipp, founder of the Australian Democrats, was a delegate for Australians for Constitutional Monarchy
Trade Unionist Jennie George was an Australian Republican Movement delegate Jenniegeorge.jpg
Trade Unionist Jennie George was an Australian Republican Movement delegate
Then Archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell (republican), was an appointed delegate. Other leading clergy in attendance included Peter Hollingworth (abstained) and Tim Costello (republican) Cardinal George Pell.jpg
Then Archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell (republican), was an appointed delegate. Other leading clergy in attendance included Peter Hollingworth (abstained) and Tim Costello (republican)
TV personality Eddie McGuire was an Australian Republican Movement delegate Eddie McGuire.png
TV personality Eddie McGuire was an Australian Republican Movement delegate

A total of 152 delegates, from each state and territory and a wide diversity of backgrounds, gathered at Old Parliament House in Canberra. Seventy-six of the delegates were elected by a voluntary postal ballot. The other seventy-six were appointed by the federal government. [3]

List of elected delegates

OrderDelegate nameOrganisationState/Territory
1 Malcolm Turnbull Australian Republican Movement New South Wales
2 Doug Sutherland No Republic – ACM
3 Ted Mack Ted Mack Group
4 Wendy Machin Australian Republican Movement
5 Kerry Jones No Republic – ACM
6 Ed Haber Ted Mack Group
7The Hon. Neville Wran AC QC Australian Republican Movement
8Cr Julian Leeser No Republic – ACM
9 Karin Sowada Australian Republican Movement
10 Peter Grogan Australian Republican Movement
11 Jennie George Australian Republican Movement
12 Christine Ferguson No Republic – ACM
13 Alasdair Webster Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
14 Glenda Hewitt ungrouped – I Care About Australia's Future
15Dr Pat O'Shane AM A Just Republic
16Brigadier Alf Garland AM Australian Monarchist League
17 Andrew Gunter Ethos – Elect the Head of State
18 Hazel Hawke Australian Republican Movement
19Jason Yat-Sen Liungrouped – A Multi-Cultural Voice
20Catherine MooreGreens, Bill of Rights, Indigenous Peoples
21 Eddie McGuire Australian Republican Movement Victoria
22The Hon. Don Chipp AO No Republic – ACM
23The Rev. Tim Costello Real Republic
24 Bruce Ruxton OBE MBE Safeguard the People
25 Mary Delahunty Australian Republican Movement
26 Sophie Panopoulos No Republic – ACM
27 Steve Vizard Australian Republican Movement
28 Poppy King Australian Republican Movement
29 Lindsay Fox AO Australian Republican Movement
30The Hon. Vernon Wilcox CBE QC Safeguard the People
31 Moira Rayner Real Republic
32 Misha Schubert Republic4U – The Youth Ticket
33The Hon. Jim Ramsay No Republic – ACM
34 Kenneth Gifford QC Australian Monarchist League
35 Phil Cleary ungrouped – Phil Cleary – Independent Australia
36 Eric Bullmore Shooters Party
37The Hon. Sir James Killen KCMG No Republic – ACM Queensland
38Dr Clem Jones Clem Jones Queensland Constitutional Republic Team
39The Hon. Michael Lavarch Australian Republican Movement
40Dr Glen Sheil Constitutional Monarchists
41 Neville Bonner AO No Republic – ACM
42 David Muir Clem Jones Queensland Constitutional Republic Team
43 Sallyanne Atkinson AO Australian Republican Movement
44 Thomas Bradley No Republic – ACM
45 Florence, Lady Bjelke-Petersen Constitutional Monarchists
46 Mary Kelly Women for a Just Republic
47 Sarina Russo Australian Republican Movement
48Cr Paul Tully Queenslanders for a Republic
49Cr Ann Bunnell Clem Jones Queensland Constitutional Republic Team
50 Janet Holmes à Court Australian Republican Movement Western Australia
51The Rt Hon. Reg Withers No Republic – ACM
52Prof. Peter Tannock Australian Republican Movement
53 Geoff Hourn No Republic – ACM
54 Graham Edwards Australian Republican Movement
55 Clare Thompson Australian Republican Movement
56 Marylyn Rodgers No Republic – ACM
57 Liam Bartlett ungrouped – An Open Mind for the Future
58Prof. Patrick O'Brien Elect the President
59 Kym Bonython No Republic – ACM South Australia
60Dr Baden Teague Australian Republican Movement
61The Rt Rev. John Hepworth No Republic – ACM
62 Linda Kirk Australian Republican Movement
63 Victoria Manetta No Republic – ACM
64Dr Tony Cocchiaro Australian Republican Movement
65Fr John Fleming No Republic – ACM
66 Kirsten Andrews Australian Republican Movement
67 Edward O'Farrell CVO CBE No Republic – ACM Tasmania
68 Julian Green Australian Republican Movement
69 Michael Castle No Republic – ACM
70 Marguerite Scott Australian Republican Movement
71Dr David Mitchell The Australian Monarchist League
72 Eric Lockett ungrouped – Voice of Ordinary, Fair-Minded, Thinking Citizens
73 Anne Witheford Australian Republican Movement Australian Capital Territory
74 Frank Cassidy Australian Republican Movement
75 David Curtis A Just Republic Northern Territory
76 Michael Kilgariff ungrouped – Territory Republican

List of appointed delegates

OrderDelegate nameState/TerritoryCategory
1 Andrea Ang Western AustraliaNon-parliamentary
2 Stella Axarlis Victoria
3 Dannalee Bell Victoria
4 Julie Bishop Western Australia
5 Geoffrey Blainey AO Victoria
6 Greg Craven Western Australia
7 Miranda Devine New South Wales
8 Gatjil Djerrkura OAM Northern Territory
9 Mia Handshin South Australia
10The Hon. Bill Hayden AC Queensland
11The Most Revd Peter Hollingworth AO OBE Queensland
12 Mary Imlach Tasmania
13Major General William James AO MBE MC Queensland
14 Adam Johnston New South Wales
15 Annette Knight AM Western Australia
16Dame Leonie Kramer AC New South Wales
17 Helen Lynch AM New South Wales
18The Hon. Richard McGarvie AC Victoria
19 Donald McGauchie AC Victoria
20The Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell AC South Australia
21 Carl Möller Tasmania
22Cr Joan Moloney Queensland
23 George Mye MBE AM Queensland / TSI
24 Ben Myers Queensland
25 Moira O'Brien Northern Territory
26 Lois O'Donoghue CBE AM South Australia
27Sir Arvi Parbo AC Victoria
28The Most Revd George Pell Victoria
29 Nova Peris-Kneebone Western Australia / Northern Territory
30 Peter Sams New South Wales
31 Judith Sloan South Australia
32Sir David Smith AM Australian Capital Territory
33 Trang Thomas AM Victoria
34 Lloyd Waddy RFD QC New South Wales
35 George Winterton New South Wales
36 Heidi Zwar Australian Capital Territory
OrderDelegate nameOfficeCategory
37The Hon. John Howard MP Prime MinisterParliamentary
38The Hon. Peter Costello MP Treasurer
39The Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC MP Attorney-General
40Senator the Hon. Robert Hill Minister for the Environment
41Senator the Hon. Jocelyn Newman Minister for Social Security
42 Neil Andrew MP Chief Government Whip
43 Chris Gallus MP
44 Kevin Andrews MP
45Senator Alan Ferguson
46The Hon. Tim Fischer MP Deputy Prime Minister
47The Hon. John Anderson MP Minister for Primary Industries and Energy
48Senator Ron Boswell Leader of the National Party of Australia in the Senate
49The Hon. Kim Beazley MP Leader of the Opposition
50The Hon. Gareth Evans QC MP Deputy Leader of the Opposition
51Senator the Hon. John Faulkner Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
52Senator Sue West Deputy President of the Senate
53Senator the Hon. Nick Bolkus Shadow Attorney-General
54Senator Kate Lundy
55Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Deputy Leader of the Democrats
56 Allan Rocher MP
57The Hon. Bob Carr MP Premier of New South Wales
58The Hon. Peter Collins QC MP Leader of the Opposition
59The Hon. Jeff Shaw QC Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
60The Hon. Jeff Kennett MLA Premier of Victoria
61 John Brumby MLALeader of the Opposition
62The Hon. Pat McNamara MLADeputy Premier and Minister for Agriculture
63The Hon. Rob Borbidge MLA Premier of Queensland
64 Peter Beattie MLALeader of the Opposition
65The Hon. Denver Beanland MLAAttorney-General and Minister for Justice
66The Hon. Richard Court MLA Premier of Western Australia
67 Geoff Gallop MLALeader of the Opposition
68The Hon. Hendy Cowan MLA Deputy Premier of Western Australia
69The Hon. John Olsen FNIA MP Premier of South Australia
70The Hon. Mike Rann MPLeader of the Opposition
71The Hon. Mike Elliott MLCLeader of the Australian Democrats
72The Hon. Tony Rundle MHA Premier of Tasmania
73 Jim Bacon MHALeader of the Opposition
74 Christine Milne MHALeader of the Tasmanian Greens
75 Kate Carnell MLA Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
76The Hon. Shane Stone MLA Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

See also

Related Research Articles

Australian Republic Movement

The Australian Republic Movement (ARM) is a non-partisan member-based organisation campaigning for Australia to become an independent republic with an Australian as head of state. Australian constitutional law has provided since Federation in 1901 that the monarch of the United Kingdom is also the monarch of Australia. The Australian monarch is generally understood to be the head of state, although regal functions are ordinarily performed by a Governor-General and state Governors.

Republicanism in Canada Movement to end constitutional monarchy in Canada

Canadian republicanism is a movement among Canadians for the replacement of the Canadian system of federal constitutional monarchy with a republican form of government. These beliefs are expressed either individually—usually in academic circles—or through the country's one republican lobby group. Republicans have no preferred model of republic, as individuals are driven by various factors, such as a perceived practicality of popular power being placed in the hands of an elected president or a different manifestation of the modern nation. As with its political counterpart, strong republicanism is not a prevalent element of contemporary Canadian society. The movement's roots precede Canadian Confederation and it has emerged from time to time in Canadian politics, but has not been a dominant force since the Rebellions of 1837, of which Canadian republicans consider their efforts to be a continuation.

1999 Australian republic referendum

The Australian republic referendum held on 6 November 1999 was a two-question referendum to amend the Constitution of Australia. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament following a bi-partisan appointment model which had been approved by a half-elected, half-appointed Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the Constitution to insert a preamble. For some years opinion polls had suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic. Nonetheless, the republic referendum was defeated due to division among republicans on the method proposed for selection of the president and dissident republicans subsequently supporting the no campaign.

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) is a group that aims to preserve Australia's current constitutional monarchy, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia. The group states that it is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation whose role is "To preserve, to protect and to defend our heritage: the Australian constitutional system, the role of the Crown in it and our Flag".

New Zealand Republic

New Zealand Republic Inc. is an organisation formed in 1994 whose object is to support the creation of a New Zealand republic.

Republicanism in New Zealand is a political position that holds that New Zealand's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.

1960 South African republic referendum October 1960 referendum in South Africa that abolished the monarchy

A referendum on becoming a republic was held in South Africa on 5 October 1960. The Afrikaner-dominated right-wing National Party, which had come to power in 1948, was avowedly republican, and regarded the position of Queen Elizabeth II as head of state as a relic of British imperialism. The National Party government subsequently organised the referendum on whether the then Union of South Africa should become a republic. The vote, which was restricted to whites, was narrowly approved by 52.29% of the voters. The Republic of South Africa was constituted on 31 May 1961.

The Bi-partisan appointment republican model is a proposal for Australian constitutional reform. If approved at referendum, the model would have established Australia as a republic with a Head of State appointed by the Australian Federal Parliament. The model was put to the people at the November 1999 republican referendum and was defeated by 54.4% of voters.

A direct election republican model is a proposal for Australian constitutional reform. If a proposal of this type were approved at a referendum, it would establish Australia as a republic with a head of state chosen directly by the Australian electorate.

A process model is, in the context of the republic debate in Australia, a model for the process by which the questions surrounding whether and how Australia should become a republic may be answered. A number of process models have been processed. Proposed process models are a subject of debate within the Republicanism movement. Such debate usually surrounds whether the people should be asked to choose between the current system and a general republican system of government, one specific republican system of government, or multiple alternative republican systems of government.

Monarchism in Canada Movement to preserve Canada as a monarchy

Canadian monarchism is a movement among Canadian monarchists for raising awareness of Canada's constitutional monarchy among the Canadian public, and advocating for its retention, countering republican and anti-monarchical reform as being generally revisionist, idealistic, and ultimately impracticable. Generally, Canadian monarchism runs counter to anti-monarchist republicanism, but not necessarily to the classical form of republicanism itself, as most monarchists in Canada support the constitutional variety of monarchy, sometimes referred to as a crowned republic. These beliefs can be expressed either individually—generally in academic circles—or through what are known as loyal societies, which include monarchist leagues, legions, historical groups, ethnic organizations, and sometimes police and scout bodies. Though there may be overlap, this concept should not be confused with royalism, the support of a particular monarch or dynasty; Canadian monarchists may appreciate the monarchy without thinking highly of the monarch. There have also been, from time to time, suggestions in favour of a uniquely Canadian monarch, either one headed by a descendant of the present monarch and resident in Canada or one based on a First Nations royal house.

The 16 May 1877 crisis was a constitutional crisis in the French Third Republic concerning the distribution of power between the President and the legislature. When the royalist President Patrice MacMahon dismissed the Opportunist Republican Prime Minister Jules Simon, the parliament on 16 May 1877 refused to support the new government and was dissolved by the President. New elections resulted in the royalists increasing their seat totals, but nonetheless resulted in a majority for the Republicans. Thus, the interpretation of the 1875 Constitution as a parliamentary system prevailed over a presidential system. The crisis ultimately sealed the defeat of the royalist movement, and was instrumental in creating the conditions of the longevity of the Third Republic.

Republicanism in Barbados is a political proposal for Barbados to transition from a parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a hereditary monarch to a republic.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy whose Sovereign also serves as Monarch of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and eleven other former dependencies of the United Kingdom including Papua New Guinea, which was formerly a dependency of Australia. These countries operate as independent nations, and are known as Commonwealth realms. The history of the Australian monarchy has involved a shifting relationship with both the distant monarch and also the British government.

The 1993 Brazilian constitutional referendum was held on 21 April 1993 to determine the form of government of the country. After the re-democratization of Brazil, an article in the new Constitution determined the holding of a referendum for voters to decide if the country should remain a republic or become a monarchy again, and if the system of government should be presidential or parliamentary. Voting for "monarchy" and "presidentialism" would annul one's vote.

The Australian head of state dispute refers to ongoing debate as to who is considered to be the head of state of Australia—the Monarch, the Governor-General, or both. Head of state is a description used in official sources for the monarch. The Australian constitution does not mention the term head of state. In discussion it has been used for describing the person who holds the highest rank among the officers of government. A number of writers, most notably David Smith, have argued that the term is better used to describe the governor-general. The difference of opinion has mainly been discussed in the context of Australia becoming a republic, and was prominently debated in the lead-up to the republic referendum in 1999.

Republicanism in Jamaica

Republicanism in Jamaica is a position which advocates that Jamaica's system of government be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Both major political parties – the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party – subscribe to the position, and the current Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has announced that transitioning to a republic will be a priority of his government.

Uluru Statement from the Heart

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was released 26 May 2017 by delegates to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Referendum Convention, held near Uluru in Central Australia. The statement calls for a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth-telling’ between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The statement references the 1967 referendum which brought about changes to the Constitution of Australia to include Indigenous Australians.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Vizard, Steve, Two Weeks in Lilliput: Bear Baiting and Backbiting At the Constitutional Convention (Penguin, 1998, ISBN   0-14-027983-0)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Law and Justice Foundation – The Australian Republican Referendum 1999 – Ten Lessons". Lawfoundation.net.au. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 "National Library of Australia Pandora Archive". Pandora.nla.gov.au. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 1999. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  4. "Parliament of Australia: House of Representatives – Members". Aph.gov.au. 24 October 1954. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  5. "First Words: A Brief History of Public Debate on a New Preamble to the Australian Constitution 1991–99 (Research Paper 16 1999–2000)". Aph.gov.au. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 12 Oct 2009.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Pandora Archive". Pandora.nla.gov.au. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 1999. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  7. 1 2 "Constitutional Convention Hansard, 13 February" (PDF). Parliament of Australia. 13 February 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  8. "Constitutional Convention Hansard, 12 February" (PDF). Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  9. "Pandora Archive". Pandora.nla.gov.au. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 1999. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Constitutional Convention Hansard, 4 February" (PDF). Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  11. "Pandora Archive". Pandora.nla.gov.au. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 1999. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  12. 1 2 "Pandora Archive". Pandora.nla.gov.au. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 1999. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  13. O'Shane, Pat (3 February 1998). Address to the Constitutional Convention (PDF) (Speech). Australian Constitutional Convention 1998. Old Parliament House, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original (PDF, transcript) on 11 November 1998.
  14. 1 2 "Constitutional Convention Hansard, 3 February" (PDF). Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  15. "Lessons From the Republic Referendum in Australia" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2012.