WHO IS THE HEAD OF STATE?
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 03 February 2004

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the First Royal Tour by a reigning Sovereign, we sent this letter to The Australian concerning an opinion piece from the Australian Republican Movement

 

Dear Editor,

 

Everyday Australians are calling for an Australian Head of State, Alison Henry and Ted O'Brien claim, with some considerable licence, in their piece on the 50th anniversary of the Queen's first visit.(3 February, 1954) Surely they have read the lament of Mr Malcolm Turnbull to his diary months before the referendum, "Nobody is interested.."? They, and all Senators should read, on the Senate website, Sir David Smith's remarkable submission about the Head of State. He has assembled, in one document, all the historical, constitutional and political material on this question. The conclusion is irresistible: we already have an Australian Head of State in the Governor General. This is the considered view of this organisation which has close to 20,000 registered supporters, a figure which during the referendum rose to over 50,000. None of them are calling for an Australian Head of State because they know we already have one. It is therefore understandable that no republican expert has attempted a point by point rebuttal to Sir David's previous contributions on this subject, which can be viewed ,for example on the Samuel Griffith website.. Without a conclusive rebuttal, the reference to Senate Committee is, of course, otiose.