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THE COUNTRYMAN

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Selwyn Johnston

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES'

ADVOCATE

(Cairns... Far North Queensland)

 

Thank you for visiting my on-line office. 

I appreciate your interest in the issues that effect not only Queenslanders, but all Australians. 

Please let me hear from you about your views on the issues that matter to your Family, your Community and your State.  

Sincerely,

Selwyn Johnston

 

One person, with the support of the community, can make a difference

 

 

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CITIZENS INITIATED REFERENDA - QUEENSLAND

Queensland State Independent Member for Nicklin, Peter Wellington, has introduced a Private Members Bill on Citizens Initiated Referenda into State Parliament on August 25th, 1998.

"This historic Bill will deliver true democracy to the People of Queensland.

Because when it (CIR Bill) becomes law, it will mean that for the first time in this State, decisions will be made not only by politicians, but by the people themselves.

And I will be seeking by-partisan support for the Bill from my parliamentary colleagues."

Peter Wellington said that his Bill would overcome significant Constitutional impediments which have previously prevented the introduction of Citizens Initiated Referenda in Queensland.

" I am working with some of the best Constitutional lawyers in the Nation on this Bill and we are confident that it will be able to withstand any challenge in the High Court.

What we propose is that in order to initiate a referendum, two and a half percent of Queensland's voters from at least 45 State electorates must sign a petition of support.

This means that it is impossible for a major population centre such as Brisbane to dominate or control a CIR Bill.

Also, as a cost saving exercise, I propose that the referenda be held in conjunction with the next scheduled election either Local, State or Federal."

The Queensland State Independent Member for Gladstone, Liz Cunningham,  was presented with a petition containing 26,000 signatures calling for the introduction of CIR. On Tuesday, March 26, 1997, Liz Cunningham called for the introduction of Citizens' Initiated Referendums and threatened to introduce a private member's Bill if the  Government failed to heed her call.

Following Peter Wellington's introduction of his Private Member Bill into State Parliament, it is anticipated that the full contents of the Bill will be made available and posted onto this WebSite.

This Bill MUST be supported by ALL Queenslanders.

Then State Attorney-General Matt Foley undoubtedly speaks for all mainstream party politicians, obviously fearing the thought of the introduction of Citizens Initiated Referendums which will deliver some real power to the People, hence his strong opposition to any proposals to introduce CIR to Queensland.

Mr Foley's statement that CIR "threatened a healthy participatory parliamentary democracy", is an affront to all Queenslanders who believe in the democratic process.

It is to combat such barefaced arrogance on the part of comfortably entrenched party politicians that Queensland, and indeed Australia as a whole, need to have a referendum process introduced as part of Constitutional reform that will give Australians a real voice in how they are governed and the opportunity to terminate unpopular government decisions.

The party politicians appear to have a rather bizarre understanding of the concept of 'participatory democracy' if they believe all it involves is to herd the Australian voters to the polls every three years and then ignore them the rest of the time.

For more: Citizens Initiated Referenda

 

 

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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870