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Convenor's Column
Republican support collapses Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 29 August 2010

 
The Governor-General and claims of a conflict of interest Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 28 August 2010
   
  
 

To hear a report on the ABC’s AM on Wednesday 25 August concerning the claim that the governor-General has a conflict of interest because of her daughter's marriage to Bill Shorten, a parliamentary secretary, is at least premature and probably cannot be sustained, click here 

 

But because this has been raised, the Governor-General, quite correctly, sought legal advice on the claim.

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When and if she comes to act under the discretionary powers of the Australian Crown - the reserve powers - she will no doubt act in accordance with that advice.

 

On this, I found myself in agreement with my republican colleagues, Professor Greg Craven and Professor George Williams. We all agree that there was no conflict of interest.


...Solicitor-General’s advice....

 
Now according to a report by  Nicola Berkovic in The Australian  (27/8) the
Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth, Stephen Gageler,  says it is unnecessary for the Governor-General to stand aside. He has also cleared her to discharge her duties to resolve a constitutional crisis if the need arises.

“My advice to Her Excellency is that the marriage of her daughter to Mr Shorten gives rise to no constitutional or other legal impediment to the proper discharge of her functions of office,” Mr Gageler says.

Mr Gageler notes that it would only be in extraordinary circumstances that Ms Bryce would be called on to use her own judgment to resolve a crisis in relation to the formation of the next government. But the possibility of extraordinary circumstances arising in the “current state of uncertainty” cannot be excluded.

Recalling that several former governors-general have had prior political careers or personal relationships with members of parliament, he says that in his opinion, “the existence of connections and relationships of that kind can give rise to no disqualification from holding the office nor to any legal impediment to the performance of the functions of the office.”

“Where they exist, connections and relationships of that kind must be recognised as realities. They fall to be managed as a matter of prudence, not of legal obligation or legal impediment.”

 

 



 
Debate: Monarchy v Autonomous Collective Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 23 August 2010

This video, Constitutional Peasants, argues the advantages of  an autonomous  collective, or more precisely, an anarcho-syndicalist commune over a monarchy.

 

 

 
Too close to call: Election 2010 Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 22 August 2010
 
Election 2011: Julia Gillard puts off republic Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 19 August 2010






 
Russell Crowe, constitutional monarchist. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 14 August 2010

How refreshing it was that Russell Crowe recently voiced support of the monarchy in an interview for the UK’s Sun newspaper, wrote Dean Bertram, in the Spectator ( “Hooray for Hollywood” 17/7 )

  As we reported here on 4 May ( “Russell Crowe a monarchist“)    while he was  in Europe to attend the premiere ahead of Robin Hood's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on 12 May, he told aa London  newspaper that he does not support Australia or New Zealand becoming  a republic.


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    [ Proudly wearing his grandfather's MBE insignia....God Save The Queen ]   

 "I am an English speaking man," he told The Sun."You can call me a Kiwi or you can call me an Aussie but my family history on both sides is British and it goes back a long way."When you are talking about Queen Elizabeth, I don't think there is a more gracious world leader."

 "I've met both (Princes) Charles and Andrew and they were both intelligent and kind men."  When Russell Crowe was awarded the Oscar in 2001 he wore the MBE insignia which had been awarded to his grandfather, declaring as he held the Oscar, “ God Save The Queen”.

 His great-great grandmother was of Maori descent whilst his paternal grandfather was born in Wales. He also traces his family line to Scotland, England, Ireland and Norway




.
   ....Sir Russell?... 




   


When Sir Peter Jackson was knighted recently in Wellington, we suggested that Russell Crowe should also be recommended for the award of a knighthood in the New Zealand Order of Merit.  And why not?

 




    

 
Burial of Diggers at Fromelle: Prince Charles,G-G Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 04 August 2010
 
A Year in the Life of The Queen Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Saturday, 24 July 2010

 A special Royal exhibit opens at Buckingham Palace to show Her Majesty at work over each year. The exhibition includes photographs, artefacts, videos and clothing. 

 
Dissolution of the House of Representatives and Prorogation of the 42nd Parliament Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
 
Constitution Day, 9 July Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 10 July 2010

Constitution Day falls on 9 July each year . This is the day when Queen Victoria assented to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900, which brought to a successful conclusion the unusually peaceful and democratic process to unite the six self governing Australian colonies. 

We Australians federated under the Crown; the Crown has been with us  from the settlement in 1788, and has been intimately involved on every significant occasion in the life of the nation.

ACM celebrated the day by the launch  of a superb collection of videos on the Australian Constitution made by Wing Commander Nick Hobson DFC AFC, "The Beginner's Guide to the Australian Constitution". This took place in Parliament House Sydney where a selection of the videos were shown to an appreciative audience.




...the Proclamation....



The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act provided that it should take effect on a date to be proclaimed by The Queen. This is was done on 17 September, 1900 at Balmoral, Her Majesty declaring that she was then satisfied that the people of Western Australia had indicated in a referendum that they too wished to join the  Commonwealth of Australia.

The Queen then signified that the new Australian nation should come into being on the first day of the new year and the first day of the new century.

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...swearing in...


In the first video below, you may see the swearing in of the first Governor-General, Lord Hopetown, who then proceeds to swear in the first ministry under Prime Minister Edmund Barton.  (This and other videos mentioned in this column are not the newly produced ones launched on Thursday.) 



This significant event took place on 1 January 1901 in a pavillion in Centennial Park Sydney. The Governor-General,and The Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, as the Constitution describes them, used the same desk on which The Queen had assented to the Act.

The second video shows scenes of the Federation parade in Sydney. 





...move to Canberra...


 

The first Parliament was opened by the Duke of York, later King George V in Melbourne on 9 May 1901. The Parliament then sat in Melbourne until 1927.

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In the third video we see the next Duke of York, later King George VI, opening the new Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927.





...Australia Acts, new Parliament House...

In the following video there are glimpses of the opening of the old Parliament House and of new Parliament House, opened by The Queen on 9 May 1988.

Two years before this, The Queen had been intimately involved in the finalisation of the terms of the Australia Acts, which successfully brought to an end the residuary powers the British Parliament retained in Australia.   In that regard it should be noted that such powers were only retained on our insistence. This was because the State governments -  of all parties -  had trusted the British more than the Federal government.

The Queen proposed a compromise satisfactory to the States, but which considerably increased her duties as Queen of Australia. 

   




...central to our nation : the Crown.. 

 

From the settlement in 1788 through self government freely given from the middle of the nineteenth century, through federation and  independence freely granted by the British, the Australian Crown has been by our side, an integral part of the Australian nation.

Well may we Australian say:  God Save The Queen!

 

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