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ACM Home arrow Return The Governor

Return The Governor

Evicted from Government House by Bob Carr in 1996, ACM is calling for the return of the Governor of New South Wales to Government House in Sydney.

To find out more about the campaign, including the power-grab that was behind the Governor's eviction, you can read our coverage below. To get involved, be sure to download and read our Return The Governor brochure.

This section begins with a series on the role and function of the Governor. This is followed by reports on the eviction.



Return the Governor! Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A public meeting has been called at the Parliament House Theatrette on Monday 7 March from 12 noon to 1.30 pm to Return the Governor to Government House.

Hosted by the formidable Rev. Fred Nile the meeting will be addressed by Australia’s leading broadcaster, Mr. Alan Jones AO. An invitation for the meeting may be downloaded here.

Image



....Governor expelled....





In 1996, Premier Bob Carr decided to throw the Governor out of Government House. The Governor was to be stripped of any function Carr deemed “excessive, irrelevant and unbecoming”. He’d be part-time. Carr’s quip:”That’s one for Jack Lang!” sent a shudder through the nation.

A public demonstration ACM called in Macquarie Street was one of the largest and most peaceful in many years.

(You can read more about our campaign by clicking on the icon “ Return the Governor” on the front page of the ACM site, www.norepublic.com.au )



...backtrack...




 Carr had to backtrack when part of his plan was shown to be unconstitutional. According to the Auditor-General it has proved far more costly than predicted, there haven’t been more visitors, and nobody from the country or other states can be appointed Governor, however eminent.  No other state has followed this decision.

After he resigned the Premiership, Carr admitted there was another reason for his actions.

Fifteen years later, the Governor is still spending extra hours every month in moving between her home, her office and Government House.

ACM is now formally relaunching its long campaign Return the Governor at a public meeting on 7 March  at Parliament House hosted by the formidable Rev. Fred Nile and to be addressed by the nation’s leading broadcaster Alan Jones AO.

Maintain your rage!  Be there !

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Kicking the Governor out cost me the election: Keating Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 04 June 2007
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When Virginia Trioli interviewed Paul Keating, the former Prime Minister, for almost 20 minutes on ABC  radio 702AM ( Sydney) on 24 May 2007, the media concentrated on Paul Keating’s proposal to move the Federal Parliament House to Sydney.  Not only did the passionate republican flag changer want the politicians to abandon the 1 billion edifice in Canberra, but he also wanted to evict the Royal Australian Navy, whose presence he said is “anachronistic”, and to put the Federal Parliament in its place on Garden Island.

Mr. Keating seems not to have read the Constitution, which says that this cannot be done. We should perhaps not be surprised by Mr Keating about this.  He once made the bizarre claim that the Constitution had been drafted in the British Foreign Office and imposed by the British on Australia.

So what does the Constitution say about the Capital? It says, in section 125:


”The seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the Parliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney. Such territory shall contain an area of not less than one hundred square miles, and such portion thereof as shall consist of Crown lands shall be granted to the Commonwealth without any payment therefor. The Parliament shall sit at Melbourne until it meet at the seat of Government.”


The question of the location of the new Capital - or rather where it was not to be - was a major consideration in the finalisation of the federal compact. It is curious that the former prime minister would try to revive this well settled issue, presuming of course that he is aware of the debate over the location of the federal capital. 

The point is, of course, that there is absolutely no prospect of the people agreeing to a proposal in a referendum that the Capital be moved to Sydney.  So it is curious that the media gave such prominence to these meanderings.

The real news about the interview was that Mr. Keating blamed NSW Premier Bob Carr, who “kicked ” the Governor out of Government House”, for his loss in the 1996 Federal election. This came at the head of a list of problems Mr. Keating thought he had in all of the Labor governed States, except Victoria where he improved his vote.

These included Bob Carr’s breaking of a promise on toll roads, the collapse of the South Australian State bank and “WA Inc” (corruption in that State). He also referred to Queensland Premier Wayne Goss’s warning that the electors were waiting with baseball bats to get Paul Keating.


The prominent commentator, PP McGuiness, warned at the time that the eviction would damage the Keating government, and the eviction was reported to have caused considerable concern in the NSW cabinet and in the NSW Parliamentary Party as it had been done without any consultation and was very unpopular across the State. 

When Kerry Jones, then Executive Director of ACM, called a protest, it turned out to be one of the largest and most peaceful demonstrations in Sydney at that time.  Mr. Keating has no love for our constitutional monarchy, our Constitution or our Flag. 

That he believes the eviction of the governor was electoral poison suggests that he understands that the Crown has a special place in the affections of the Australian people, and that creeping republicanism is not popular. 

Soon after Bob Carr left office, he admitted that the reason he had evicted the Governor had to do with the reserve powers of the Crown.

There is no transcript of the interview, but a recording is stored on the ABC site.

 

 

 
Candidates who support the return of the Governor: latest news Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 22 March 2007

As part of our campaign to return the governor to Government House, the ACM Executive Director, Thomas Flynn, has written to the candidates of the major parties, and others, to ascertain their views on the return of the Governor to Government House.  Relevant responses will be posted to this site as they become available in our national office. The following is a summary of our latest information.

 Three parties have indicated that  they support the return the Governor to Government House.  

Fred Nile, the Leader of the Christian Democratic Party has long held this position, and he once again  confirmed this at a meeting ACM called at Parliament House on 28 February,2007. The Christian Democrat candidates are listed on the Christian Democratic Party site election page.

On 21 February, 2007 the Leader of HM NSW Opposition, the Hon. Peter Debnam confirmed to Alan Jones on 2GB that under a Coalition government, the next Governor would live in Government House, and the present Governor would be given the option to return.  The Liberal Party candidates are listed on the Party’s website.

The National Party is led by Andrew Stoner, a strong constitutional monarchist.  The National candidates are listed on the National Party’s website.

 

Since writing this, we are now delighted to advise that a number of individual candidates have indicated their support for our campaign.

TAMWORTH. Mr. Peter Draper, the independent member for Tamworth, has confirmed that he supports the proposal that the Governor reside at Government House.

LISMORE. Mr.Thomas George MP of the National Party and Member for Lismore assures us of his support for ACM and the campaign to return the Governor to Government House.

DUBBO. Mrs Dawn Fardell, the independent member for Dubbo believes that Governors should have the personal option of living at Government House or at their own homes.

PORT MACQUARIE. Mr.Robert Oakeshott, the independent member for Port Macquarie, also believes that Governors should have the personal option of living at Government House or at their own homes.

 

 

Mr. David Horkan of the ACM Newcastle –Hunter River Valley Branch has conducted his own research to discover whether local candidates supported the return of the Governor, the restoration of the Oath of Allegiance and the return of the Royal Portraits to the main dining room at Parliament House, the Strangers Room. Six candidates replied yes to all questions.  They are as follows:

MAITLAND. Mr Peter Blackmore, an independent candidate for Maitland.

PORT STEPHENS. Cr. Craig Bauman, the Liberal candidate for Port Stephens and Paul Hennelly, the Fishing Party Candidate for Port Stephens.

CHARLESTOWN. Mr. James Kendall the Christian Democratic candidate for Charlestown and Mr Lindsay Paterson, the Liberal candidate for Charlestown.

NEWCASTLE. Mr.Martin Babakhan, the Liberal candidate for Newcastle.

 

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Meanwhile, David Rofe QC, an independent candidate for the Legislative Council, advises that he supports our campaign. We do remind supporters that with the introduction of optional preferential voting above the line in the Legislative Council, voters can preserve any surplus votes by giving a 2nd and more preferences to other groups listed above the line.

 

We congratulate these MP's and candidates on their principled stand.  As further information comes to hand, we shall post this to this site.  Incidentally, the cartoon by Warren in the Daily Telegraph on 22 March, 2007 shows a pile of disasters - trains, hospitals, education, police roads etc, with two electors climbing the pile.  There is a throne at the top, with a figure sitting in it in ermine and wearing a crown.  The title is “The Pinnacle of Twelve Years…”   The crowned figure resembles a well known NSW republican politician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Little known electoral law changes could affect composition of NSW Legislative Council. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 16 March 2007

One of the issues in the background in the NSW election is the return of the Governor to Government House, which has Australia wide implications.  There have been calls in other states to move their Governor out of Government House.  In addition, there are politicians - in all parliaments – who are determined to remove or at least to hide the symbols of, and any allegiance to the Crown, despite the clear message from the people in 1999.  I still find that some republicans refuse to face the fact that the people overwhelmingly rejected the model which the republican establishment wanted.  Instead they hide behind some or other quite childish invention about how John Howard “nobbled” the referendum, or how he put the “wrong”question.  If any one has a right to complain, it is the constitutional monarchists.  Not only did the media overwhelmingly campaign on their news pages and bulletins for a Yes vote, the referendum question did not refer to the unprecedented provision for the instant dismissal of the president at the option of the prime minister.  No other republican constitution has, or has ever had such an outrageous provision.  The republicans should stop their endless and tiresome wingeing and move on. 

 While the election for the Legislative Assembly has attracted the most interest in NSW, few voters are aware of the changes to the method of voting for the Legislative Council.  The NSW Parliament changed the law in relation to the 2003 and future Legislative Council elections.  Preferences are now determined by the voters, not the parties.  This change has not been widely publicized.  Voters may vote for individual candidates by voting “below the line”, or the can vote for the parties by voting “above the line.”  To vote above the line until this election, you only put “1” in the box marked, say, “Labor.” This change has been effected by extending optional preferential voting to voting above the line.  You can put “1” in your preferred party’s box, and “2” in the next.  If you want to, you can fill in your third, fourth and other preferences. 

 

 

Read more...
 
Call to evict another Governor. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 15 March 2007
There should be an award for the rudest, most uninformed piece of journalism in Australia.  We now have a nomination.  It is for an opinion piece, “Sun should set on colonial excess,” published in the Courier Mail on 13 March, 2007.  It was by Paul Syvret, who describes himself on the newspaper web site as the paper’s “News editor and columnist.”  He says his job includes taking some “sacred cow” and attacking it “with a blunt axe.”  Mr. Syvret is entitled to enjoy himself, but as a senior journalist, he has a professional obligation to check that his assertions are justified, and surely, in a journal of record, he should resist pouring gratuitous insults on the objects of his scorn.

 

 

Mr. Syvret’s argument is that to save money, Queensland should follow former NSW Premier Bob Carr’s example and “turf” the Governor out of Government House, opening it up for public and state functions –as if they are not already held there.  Under the Syvret plan, the Governor would be part time and work from a downtown office.

 

 

The eviction of the NSW Governors from Government House has actually cost the NSW taxpayer millions of dollars.  It is more expensive to have the Governor live in her own home.  The fact that it costs more money is on the public record - so much so that the NSW government no longer tries to justify the eviction on the ground of saving money.  Why didn’t Mr. Syvret concede this?  We must assume he did not hide this, so it seems he did not check this. Nor does he seem to understand that evicting the Governor means he or she has to have a home in Brisbane - which excludes the appointment of many eminent Queenslanders.  What an insult to regional and rural Queensland.

 

t

 

And while he demonstrates that he knows that the Crown’s reserve powers are an important check on the abuse of power, Mr. Syvret still wants the position of Governor abolished.  Is he aware that Bob Carr has actually admitted that he evicted the Governor precisely because of those reserve powers?

 

 

The worst thing about this piece is the appalling way he insults our Royal Family. The worst he can say about The Queen is that she is “octogenarian”, as if that were a criticism.  The venom –so venomous I will not repeat it - he pours on the other members of the family is an egregious example of Baldwin’s dictum on the exercise of "power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."

 

Read more...
 
Who supports the return of the Governor? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 09 March 2007

Three parties have indicated they support the return the Governor to Government House.  

 

Fred Nile, the Leader of the Christian Democratic Party has long held this position, and he once again confirmed this at a meeting ACM called at Parliament House on 28 February,2007. The Christian Democrat candidates are listed on the Christian Democratic Party site election page.

 

On 21 February, 2007 the Leader of HM NSW Opposition, the Hon. Peter Debnam confirmed to Alan Jones on 2GB that under a Coalition government, the next Governor would live in Government House, and the present Governor would be given the option to return.  The Liberal Party candidates are listed on the Party’s website.

 

The National Party is led by Andrew Stoner, a strong constitutional monarchist.  The National candidates are listed on the National Party’s website.

 

The Executive Director of ACM, Thomas Flynn, is writing to the candidates of the major parties, and others to ascertain their views on the return of the Governor to Government House.  Relevant responses, or a summary of them, are being posted to this site - see the entry above dated 19 March 2006.

Read more...
 
Public opinion Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 07 March 2007
Two letters in the Sun Herald of 4 March 2007 caught our attention.  The first, from Allan Green of Leonay in NSW appeared under the headline:  “Give Governor a house.”

 

 

“It is a sad state of affairs that the Governor of NSW does not live in the official residence. In all other states the Governor lives in Government House.  NSW inflicts much indignity on our Governor. It causes the Governor inconvenience and expense due to the number of necessary journeys through heavy city traffic.  Let's hope the election on March 24 will bring us a government with a mature approach. We don't need petty nonsense like playing chess with where our Governor resides.”

 

 

The second letter was from Ron Barnett of Lakemba, and was published under the headline: “The Queen v Cheney.”  It read:-

 

 

“It would be interesting to know the cost of the short visit to Australia by US Vice-President Dick Cheney to Australian taxpayers. With him came assistants, security, even their own cars. Then there was the cost of the huge police and security presence in the city. Compare this to the quiet dignity and calm of Her Majesty. In London where huge crowds welcomed her 80th birthday, the Queen stood up in the back of an open car laughing and waving to the people. And hardly any security in sight.”

 

 

 
"Apologise to the Governor!" demands senior political commentator Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 01 March 2007
“Apologise to the Governor”, demanded the headline in the Sun Herald on 21 January, 2006.  Alex Mitchell, the doyen of the NSW parliamentary press corps, reported that the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma had issued a press release the previous Monday which began: “Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Bashir, has prorogued the 53rd NSW Parliament effective today. NSW Premier Morris lemma said the Governor's proclamation to prorogue Parliament brought the official business of the parliamentary session to a close."  The rest of the press release, according to Mr. Mitchell, contained “a wearisome recitation by lemma of his Government's so-called ‘achievements’, including ‘expanded public services that provide improved transport, health and education for the people of N5W’".

The press release concluded with a two-paragraph attack on Opposition Leader Peter Debnam. The media release amounted, Mr. Mitchell wrote, to the “most cynical and outrageous use of the Governor's name in a piece of party political propaganda. These people have no shame and they should apologise to the Governor.”  In ACM's view, the government could make some rectification by returning the Governor to Government House. NSW governors were evicted in 1996 by the then Premier, Bob Carr.  This was said to be to save costs and make Government house more accessible to the people. Neither has been achieved.  Mr. Carr has since admitted that one reason for the eviction was the reserve powers ie one of the constitutional checks and balances on an errant premier.

The newspaper reported, on another page an “ alarming surge “ in armed hold-ups in Sydney not only of pubs, but also registered clubs, TABs, service stations and small businesses. According to the latest figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research robberies involving a firearm are up by 50 per cent in inner Sydney and a “staggering” 70.80% in the inner-west.  What has this to do with checks and balances on power. It was in this sentence in that report: “But with the state election just weeks away, police headquarters has been silent, failing to issue media releases on any of the attacks.”

The police, along with the rest of the public service, are not supposed to play party politics in the exercise of their functions.  The impartiality of the public service was one of the great achievements of the Westminster system, at the heart of which is our oldest institution, the Crown. 

 

 

 
Christian Democrat leader calls for return of Governor Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 01 March 2007
Calling for the return of the Governor to Government House at a meeting called by ACM in Parliament House, Sydney on 28 February, 2007, the Rev Fred Nile made this offer: “I’ll chauffeur her back myself.”  Mr. Nile attacked the “childish” way NSW republican politicians have behaved in trying to remove all references to our heritage. 

 

“They moved the portrait of The Queen from the main foyer and put it in an area not normally open to the public, claiming the light was damaging it.  Then they moved the Royal portraits from the main dining room for “occupational health and safety reasons” putting them away behind a pillar in another room.  Can you believe it?”

 

“They even abolished the Oath of Allegiance just before The Queen visited Sydney.” The outspoken MLC indicated he would not be pushed around by republican politicians at the next State Opening of Parliament.  “Well, if I am returned, I shall swear the Oath anyway, and I call on all loyal MP’s to do the same.  It couldn’t be an act of disloyalty to swear allegiance to The Queen.  After all, the people overwhelmingly rejected the republic in 1999,” he warned, defiantly.  

 

Mr. Nile is standing for re-election to the Legislative Council, and made some comments on changes to the electoral law in NSW which concern the upper house. In voting “above the line” (ie. for parties, rather than individual candidates) the voter can now allocate as many preferences for other parties as he or she wishes.  (This is the “optional preference” system.)  This means that the preferences will no longer be determined by the parties. He also pointed out that under the new system, it is crucial to obtain a high first preference vote, preferably over the quota sufficient to be elected without the allocation of preferences.

 

In thanking Mr Nile, the ACM National Convener said:“There has been no parliamentarian more consistently and unswervingly loyal to the Crown and the Flag than the Rev. Fred Nile.  And he has been an outstanding supporter of the campaign to return the Governor to her domain.”  

 

ACM does not advise its supporters how to vote in elections, but tries to inform the public as to the position of politicians on republicanism.  It is intended to post this information on this site prior to the NSW election.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Opposition promises to return Governor Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
The campaign to return the Governor to Government House Sydney is gathering steam. According to a letter from the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Peter Debnam MP, read on the Alan Jones 2GB Programme on 22 February, 2007, Coalition policy is to return the next Governor to Government house, and give the current Governor, Professor Bashir, the option of moving into the House.  The policy provides that a Coalition government would liaise with the Governor to ensure public access to the House.  ACM called on the Premier to support the campaign.   

 

 

 
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