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.
This was one the largest demonstrations ever in Sydney's Macquarie Street, and without doubt the largest demonstration during the republic - monarchy debate.
In 1996 Peter Sinclair retired as Governor of New South Wales. Premier Bob Carr announced that Rear Admiral Sinclair's replacement, Gordon Samuels, would not reside at Government House. This was a direct attack on the independence and integrity of the office of Governor and was expressly intended to promote republicanism in Australia.
In response to this outrage Australians for Constitutional Monarchy organised one of the largest demonstrations ever held in Sydney - far more than the 10,000 claimed by the ABC. From the podium, the crowds could be seen from Hyde Park down as far as the eye could see. Other estimates were over 20,000. ACM's Lloyd Waddy and Kerry Jones were there with the Rev. Fred Nile as well as opposition leaders Peter Collins and Ian Armstrong.
Notice the lack of aerial or long range shots to show the actual extent of the crowd. Republicans take note: Paul Keating says that popular disgust at Bob Carr's actions in evicting the Governor was on of the factors in the fall of the federal ALP government later in 1996.
And what of republican demonstrations? The republicans called a demonstration at lunch time in the heart of greater Sydney, Parramatta to be addressed by various celebrities just before the referendum. The celebrities, the republican heavies, the reporters and the TV cameras turned up. How many attended? Tens of thousands? Thousands? Hundreds? No, seventy – including the celebrities, assorted republican heavies, and journalists. Needless to say, not one second of this appeared on the television news.
Then there was the launch of the Mate for a Head of State campaign overlooking Bondi Beach with a free “sausage sizzle” on the Sunday before Australia Day, 22 January 2006. The republican heavies turned up with the media. At it s high point there were fifty people there including the heavies and the media.
Incidentally, have you noticed how the republicans invariably described themselves as “passionate”?
Lloyd Waddy, a former federal judge, led the campaign to return the Governor to Government House after the 1996 expulsion of the Governors from their purpose-built home by the then Premier, Bob Carr. In this interview with his successor as National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, David Flint, he recalls the the unintended consequences of the expulsion. These demonstrate that Premier Carr had not thought through the results of the expulsion.
The interview is divided into five parts:
Part 1: The Expulsion Part 2: Bob Carr's Reasons Part 3: Unintended Consequences Part 4: The Demonstration Part 5: Success.
Fifteen years after the Governors of New South Wales were expelled from their purpose built home, Government House, and 165 years after it was first occupied, Governor Marie Bashir will soon take up residence again under a decision of the O’Farrell government.
The return fulfils a commitment made at a public meeting called by ACM at Parliament House on Monday 7 March, 2011. There, the Hon. Marie Ficarra MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the next Premier Barry O’Farrell, indicated his support to the return of the Governor. The meeting had been addressed by to leading and long-term campaigners, the Rev Fred Nile MLC and the noted broadcaster Mr Alan Jones.
Government House was the home for 27 governors from 1846 to 1996, and for the first five governors-general from 1901 to 1914.
But in 1996 Mr Carr said the expulsion was to open Government House the public, save money and make the position of Governor part-time and bring the office closer to the people. But the number of visitors did not increase, it was more expensive, and the proposal concerning the Governor had to be abandoned on constitutional grounds. When he resigned the premiership he revealed that the expulsion of the governors was about their reserve powers.
...peaceful protest -over 20,000 come out...
ACM called a peaceful protest in 1996 which brought out over 20,000 protesters. 60,000 signed a petition. Far from being popular as Mr. Carr now claims, it was extremely unpopular. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating said it was the reason why he lost the 1996 election. ACM has continued that campaign in the intervening period.
The Hon. Lloyd Waddy was National Convenor at the time, and recalls the event in this nterview. This is Part 1 “ The Expulsion”.
Fifteen years after the Governors of New South Wales were expelled from their purpose built home, Government House, and 165 years after it was first occupied, Premier Barry O'Farrell has announced Governor Marie Bashir will take up residence before Christmas: a report from ABC News, 7 October, 2011