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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.



Largest demonstration, monarchist or republican Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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”?

8

 
Returning the Governor - the unintended consequences of the expulsion Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 18 January 2012

 

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.

 
Return the Governor- Lloyd Waddy recalls - The Reasons Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011

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 second interview with his successor as National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, David Flint, he discusses the reasons Permier Carr gave for 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.

 
The Expulsion of the Governors: Lloyd Waddy recalls the day Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 24 November 2011

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.

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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”.  




 

 
Governor to return Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011

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

 
NSW Governor returns Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 07 October 2011
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 take up residence, according to an exclusive report by Andrew Clennell in The Daily Telegraph ( (“Governor Marie Bashir makes a grand return home to Government House” 7 October , 2011)



This is despite a last ditch campaign by the perpetrator of the expulsion of the Governors, former premier Mr Bob Carr, who recently gave  an American history reading with a musical interlude at Government House.


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...purpose built...



Government House was the home for 27 governors from 1846 to 1996, and for the first five governors-general from 1901 to 1914.Over the last 15 years it has been impossible to appoint anybody not living in Sydney as governor who had to live in her own home in suburban Sydney.

This of course imposed difficulties on the governor who had to move regularly between her home, her city office and government house. In the meantime government house was used for not only public and viceregal functions, but also for activities which were some said were political in nature.



...promise fulfilled...



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.

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. Premier Barry O'Farrell told Mr. Clenell that "a lot of people believe the governor should live at Government House, that's what it was built for."

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.  
Read more...
 
The Governor must be in control of Government House Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 19 June 2011

Image This is the latest of a series of reports  on this subject. These can be accessed by clicking on this icon on the front page , left hand column of the front page of this site, www.norepublic.com.au

 

A separate section can be found on the role and function of the NSW Governor; go down the same column and click on this icon:

Image 


 

You can hear Alan Jones latest broadcast on returning the Governor to Government House here ( 2GB 16/6: interview with Professor Flint)
 
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Former NSW Premier Bob Carr's surprise 1996 decision to throw the Governor of New South Wales out of Government House was a disaster.  Former Prime Minister Paul Keating blamed Carr’s action for the loss of the Federal election that year. 

Image
[ Bob Carr ]
 

The protest demonstration called by ACM was one of the most peaceful and largest held in Sydney.  And it was not about the wages and conditions of those taking part. 

Over 20,000 people assembled between Parliament House and Government House.  Over 60,000 signed a petition to Parliament calling on Carr to reverse his decision.

All of the public reasons given, including cost, were proven wrong. What was even more disturbing was the one Carr revealed when he left office to work as a consultant for Macquarie Bank on a reputed half million dollar annual retainer.




...saving Carr’s face...


 To save face, successive governments devised a plan to show that Carr was half right.  This was to put the Governor in the secretary's house, which is behind Government House.

Then Government House could remain a museum – a museum curiously also used for political photo and political opportunities.

Now it may well be that in this day and age it may be more convenient and comfortable to live in the secretary’s house.



...correct principle...



 
 There is an important principle here. It has to do with the independence, real and perceived, of the Governor.  Remember that Carr admitted after he left office that the reason for his action was the reserve powers.  The Governor must be independent and be seen to be independent. 

It is not for the government of New South Wales to put the Governor into a house behind Government House.
 The whole viceregal domain should be placed here and now under the control of the Governor, as it was for all of the life of the State, except for the period  from 1996 to 2011.

Where the Governor  actually sleeps is his or her business and not the government's. 
Government House should no longer be a museum under the control of the Historic Houses Trust.  It should be returned for the purpose for which it was built.

 ACM has written to the Premier, the hon. Barry O'Farrell along these lines.

This issue was discussed o
n Thursday on Australia’s leading public affairs programme.  This can be heard here.     
 
How could the editor have been so wrong? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 26 May 2011
When the media have a political agenda which becomes an obsession, we should be wary.  Because then there is a danger that they will allow the obsession to overrule their duty to inform.

Image

 

We have previously revealed here the way the Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr and the editor of The Sydney Morning Herald worked together in a campaign about the then Governor, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair and on expelling the Governors of New South Wales from Government House.

The Herald  was only one example of a media so obsessed with removing the Crown from the constitution that they lost all sense of proportion, using their news pages and broadcasts to advance their agenda. 

An independent and eminent authority, the former British editor Lord Deedes summed up the situation in the London Daily Telegraph on 8 November, 1999: 

“I have rarely attended elections in any country, certainly not a democratic one, in which the newspapers have displayed more shameless bias. One and all, they determined that Australians should have a republic and they used every device towards that end.”





...throwing them out is just modernising our governors, claims editor...





Now we reproduce an editorial, “Carr acts to modernise the governor” published in The Australian on 17 January 1996, supporting the expulsion of the Governors from their purpose built home, Government House.

Before we go any further, it should be stressed that this was The Australian in the nineties. Under the current editor in chief The Australian has retained its support for transition to a Commonwealth without the Australian Crown. But it has shed the obsessive, almost hysterical support which so marred the newspaper in the nineties.


 That said, the editorial of 17 January of 1996, the work of an editor no longer with The Australian, is replete with error. Worse, for a national newspaper acting in the public interest the editor does not seem to be aware of the fact that the move was an attack on the constitutional role of the Governor.


Image
[ Premier Bob Carr ]



....editorial dripping with error...


 The editorial is replete with error. The editor does not seem to be aware of the fact that the move was an attack on the constitutional role of the Governor.

And how out of touch the editor was. He thinks the move was popular; Paul Keating thinks he lost the 1996 election because of it. 

When ACM called a demonstration, the people filled Macquarie Street from as far as the speakers on the platform outside Sydney Hospital could see.


 

...the editorial...




The editorial reads as follows in italics, with comments underlined:

 

 The measures taken by the NSW Premier, Mr Carr, to modernise the State governorship are appropriate and deserve to be emulated by other State governments.

 (Not one state followed New South Wales. Queensland’s Premier Beattie assured ACM’s  Kerry Jones that this would not happen)



...preparing for a republic...


Read more...
 
Return the Governor - The Premier and Alan Jones Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Alan Jones, the nation's leading broadcaster, asked the new Premier, Barry O'Farrell about progress on returning the Governor to Government House. This was on Sydney radio station 2GB on Monday, 16 May 2011.

You can listen to the interview here.


Image

The Governors of New South Wales were expelled from their purpose built home in 1996 by the then Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Bob Carr. 

Kerry Jones then ACM's Executive Director called a peaceful public demonstration of over 20,000 people in Macquarie Street Sydney.

ACM  has continued this long campaign for the return of the Governors since then, greatly assisted by two "white knights", the Rev Fred Nile MP and Alan Jones.  

No other State has followed New South Wales, although there have been proposals from time to time by republican elements to follow New South Wales. One was to make Government House Melbourne a home for the Prime Minister Ms. Gillard.

But at  a public meeting called by ACM  at Parliament House on Monday 7 March,  the Hon. Marie Ficarra MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, indicated his support to the return of the Governor.

This was stated to be  subject to any appropriate consideration which must be given to the arrangements prevailing for the present Governor, Professor Bashir.
 

 
Fifteen years are enough: time to reverse Carr's coup Print E-mail
Written by Juliet Patrick   
Thursday, 05 May 2011
In January 1996, when New South Wales was dozing in the sun, Premier Carr announced he was shutting down Government House as the State Governor’s home and office, sacking most of the staff, and appointing a part-time Governor who would live in his own home.There was no public consultation or Parliamentary debate and neither the Labor caucus nor cabinet were consulted.  Carr was shredding the constitution on his own terms.



Image


In a swift and brutal coup, and with monumental contempt for democratic principles, Premier Carr announced that the incoming Governor, Justice Gordon Samuels, would not live and work at Government House, and although keeping a full time salary, would actually be a part-time Governor as he was already Chairman of the Law Reform Commission. But he’d keep that salary, too. It was unclear which office would get which “part” of the time but Carr assured us he had legislation pending to validate the situation anyway.

 

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( Continued below)
Read more...
 
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