Sunday, 21 December 2008


Senator Brown - one of the Senators for Tasmania - is at it again with the introduction of another "Silly Bill" into the Senate.
Senator Brown wants the Australian Government to spend $8.9 million of taxpayer's money to hold a plebiscite as to whether Australia should become a republic. The question to be submitted to the Australian electors is "Do you support Australia becoming a republic?". In 1999, the Australian people voted overwhelmingly not to support the introduction of an Australian republic. Senator Brown is deluded in thinking that a tick to his proposal would provide certainty to the introduction of a republic if the people support the proposed 2010 plebiscite! The trouble for Brown is that the counting of votes in a simple plebiscite is vastly different from that required by a full blown referendum to approve any changes to the constitution. How embarrassing for Brown and his tribe if the people supported a republic as a result of his plebiscite but when it comes to the crunch at a referendum, and while the overall numbers remain essentially the same, the constitutional requirement could see a different result altogether.
Historically, it would need more than 54% to a get a referendum up even then that is no guarantee. The 1977 referendum on Simultaneous Elections gained 66.22% but failed to cross the line - only three of the six states (NSW, VIC & SA) recorded a YES vote. It appears that Brown really doesn't understand the road he is running down.
But there is another more sinister side to his crazy proposal.
The problematic section 15(1) of both the Australia Acts allows the Commonwealth Parliament - with the consent of all the State Parliaments - to amend or repeal the Statute of Westminster and both the Australia Acts.
This power could be abused sometime in the future in respect of Section 8 of the Statute of Westminster given the High Court decision in Port MacDonnell Professional Fishermen's Association Inc v South Australia (1989) 168 CLR 340 has put at rest any doubts as to the validity of the Australia Act 1986 (Commonwealth).   In the unanimous opinion of the court, s 51(xxxviii) of the Constitution should be given a broad interpretation reflecting its 'national purpose of a fundamental kind', which is that of 'plugging gaps which might otherwise exist in the overall plenitude of the legislative powers exercisable by the Commonwealth and State parliaments under the Constitution'.
What this means is that if Brown's republic plebiscite got up is that with the power from the Australia Acts, the Commonwealth Parliament, by Acts supported by the state Parliaments, can amend the Statute of Westminster that precludes it from amending the Commonwealth Constitution, the covering clauses or the preamble'.
In other words, the combined Parliaments could, alone, alter the Australian Constitution without holding a referendum. The same gang could also alter the Australia Acts to allow the states to remove the requirement that the Governor of a State represent the Queen!
Don't be fooled by Brown or any of his elected public servant colleagues on this issue. The republic is not about having an Australian as Head of State; it is all about giving more powers to the elected public servants!
Another question that should be asked of the Brown/Rudd Socialist Coalition is "What about the millions of Australian citizens who hold dual nationality?". Will they be eligible to be Head of State?
Mr Brown, you really haven't thought this one through have you?
Attached is a copy of Brown's Silly Bill and an extract of his remarks made in the Second Reading of the Senate Hansard. The date of the introduction of Brown's "Silly Bill" into the Senate will not be lost on anyone.

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