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An Independent Queensland Regional & Rural 

On-Line Publication

(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.


Selwyn Johnston



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











    AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION... with proposed 1999 republic amendments                                              


A Republic... or the Truth

Comments by the Clerk of the Senate - Mr Harry Evans

Constitution Alteration (Establishment of Republic) 1999

FREE - E-mail Address

How Queensland politicians will VOTE

The Senate

House of Representatives


If the Crown goes, who controls the Military

In Defence of OUR Constitutional Monarchy 

Government House - Queensland

'NO REPUBLIC' - Coordinators by Federal Electorates

Presidential Nominations Committee Bill 1999

Referendum NOT transparent

Referendum Choices

Republic - Yes or No? 

The Crown of Australia

The 'NO' Case against a Republic



The Process

Voting for a Republic

Why Australia should NOT become a Republic

repub_ref.gif (2556 bytes)

Exposure Draft of the Proposed New Preamble

download.gif (28196 bytes)   Republic Referendum Documents

Referendum 1999 - 'How to Vote'

'NO' Republic

'NO' Preamble - CARD 1

'NO' Preamble - CARD 2

Return to: The Republic Debate


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On Saturday November 6th 1999, Australians VOTED 'NO' to the politicians republic and VOTED 'NO' to the politicians preamble.

The NATIONAL Results...

The Republic Question:    'NO' - 55%

                                            'yes' - 45%

The Preamble Question:    'NO' - 61%

                                            'yes' - 39%


The Republic Question:    'NO' - 63%

                                            'yes' - 37%

The Preamble Question:    'NO' - 67%

                                            'yes' - 33%


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Voting for a Republic

Australians will again be asked, by republican politicians, to vote to change OUR Constitution... so as Australia could become a republic.

For this purpose, a republic means a system of government, which does not have a King or a Queen at its head. The effect of the change in Australia would be that Queen Elizabeth II would no longer be Queen of Australia and would no longer play a direct role in Australian affairs.

In fact, the Queen plays a limited role even now. She appoints the Governor-General and the State Governors. In doing this, she always appoints whomever the Prime Minister or State Premier asks her to appoint. She would remove a Governor-General or a Governor too, if the Prime Minister or a Premier asked her to do this.

Otherwise, the Governor-General and the Governors carry out all the functions of a Head of State for Australia. Most of these functions are ceremonial - making speeches, meeting people, and attending community events. Some are more directly connected with government. For example, the Governor-General calls Parliament together and dissolves it before an election. In all but a very small number of cases, the Governor-General acts on the Prime Minister's advice in performing these functions too.

If Australia became a republic, a new way of appointing (and removing) a Head of State would need to be found. The Constitution may also need to say more about what the Head of State should do and how much independence the Head of State should have in making decisions. The present Constitution does not say much about this, because all practices or "conventions" which developed over the centuries in connection with the monarchy were assumed to apply in Australia as well.

The main purpose of the Constitutional Convention, which met in February 1998, was to draw up a model for a republic on which Australians could vote. Australian voters elected half of the Constitutional Convention with the other half, including Members from all Australian Parliaments, were appointed to the Convention by the Parliament.

The main features of the model, which came from the Convention, were:

The Head of State would be called President and would be appointed for five years.

The President would have the same powers as the Governor-General has now.

Most of the powers of the President would still be exercised on the advice of the 
Government, and

The Constitution would spell this out as far as possible.

To appoint the President:

All Parliaments, local governments, community organisations and members of the public 
would be invited to make nominations.

A committee consisting of Members of the Commonwealth Parliament and of the community would draw up a short list of candidates.

The Prime Minister would propose the appointment of one candidate to the Parliament.

The Leader of the Opposition would second the motion.

The appointment would be approved by a two-thirds majority of a joint sitting of both 
Houses of Parliament.

The President would be able to be removed at any time by a notice in writing signed by the 
Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's action would have to be approved within 30 days by 
a majority of the House of Representatives.

Australia is a federation and each State has links with the Queen as well. The Convention decided that it would be desirable for all parts of Australia to become a republic at the same time but that it was up to each State to make the final decision and to work out its own republican model.

The Convention also said that there should be a new introduction or "preamble" to the Constitution which refers to Australia's history to some of the main features of its system of government and to other things which make Australia what it is today, including its cultural diversity and the respect which Australians have for their unique land and environment. The opening words of the preamble (and of the Constitution) would be "We the people of Australia..."

Before the proposal is put to referendum, it must be passed by the Commonwealth Parliament. The Convention left a lot of details for the Parliament to fill in, including the way in which the public can really be involved in nominating people for President. It is likely that this will be considered by Parliament early in 1999, after the federal election, and that the referendum will be held later that year. In order to be adopted, the proposal must be accepted by a majority of all voters and by a majority of voters in at least four States.

If the proposal is passed, Australia will become a republic by 1 January 2001, exactly 100 years after the present Constitution came into effect. And, if that happens, the Convention has one final recommendation: another elected Convention should be held within three to five years to consider how the republic is working and other aspects of the Australian system of government.

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Exposure draft of proposed

New Preamble
Australia's Constitution

With hope in God, the Commonwealth of Australia is constituted by the equal sovereignty of all its citizens.

The Australian nation is woven together of people from many ancestries and arrivals. Our vast island continent has helped to shape the destiny of our Commonwealth and the spirit of its people.

Since time immemorial our land has been inhabited by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, who are honoured for their ancient and continuing cultures.

In every generation immigrants have brought great enrichment to our nation’s life.

Australians are free to be proud of their country and heritage, free to realise themselves as individuals, and free to pursue their hopes and ideals. We value excellence as well as fairness, independence as dearly as mateship.

Australia’s democratic and federal system of government exists under law to preserve and protect all Australians in an equal dignity which may never be infringed by prejudice or fashion or ideology nor invoked against achievement.

In this spirit we, the Australian people, commit ourselves to this Constitution.


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Referendum - NOT transparent

It is not easy to change Australia's Constitution. Since Federation in 1901, only eight (8) out of forty-two (42) proposals have been approved.

To hold a Referendum it is necessary for Parliament to pass a Referendum Bill. History has shown that, as with the eight successful proposals, those referenda, which receive bi-partisan support by Parliament, have a greater likelihood of success.

Our fight is not about retaining our Monarchy for the sake of pomp and circumstance. Successive Governments of all political persuasions have removed the traditions of our Monarchy and invitations are no longer issued to members of the Royal Family to visit our shores.

No... our fight is to retain the freedom and democracy that is underwritten by our current Constitution. A freedom and a democracy that is under threat with the proposed 'minimalist' republican constitution which is acknowledged - even by Republicans - as a temporary model until "they can get things right"!

The proposed model will remove the independent checks and balances currently in place through the 'Crown' and the only checks remaining will be through a President who will have to be a politician, in fact if not in name, to gain office.

Australians are therefore facing a situation of great danger. A situation where the public is being lulled into a sense of complacency and the fear is that with limited resources Constitutional Monarchists will be unable to put our case forward effectively and before the people wake up to what is happening, those who seek a republic will have triumphed.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing".

Edmund Burke wrote this over two hundred years ago. It still remains too true today.


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The Referendum Choices

Do YOU want Australia to become a Republic?

        If yes, and

        You want the party politicians to elect a President for you?

        VOTE - YES

        If YES, but

       You want to elect a President of your choice?

        VOTE - 'NO'


If you DO NOT want a Republic.

        VOTE - ' NO'


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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870