Archives for October 1999

Howard and Costello in Conflict as Republic Referendum Hots Up

The battle between monarchists and republicans has taken a new turn as Howard government ministers adopt increasingly belligerent positions for and against the referendum due on November 6.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, issued a major statement to his Bennelong constituents earlier this week outlining his arguments against a republic.

This was followed by a speech from Treasurer Peter Costello that rebutted Howard’s argument point by point. [Read more…]

Peter Costello’s Statement in Support of the “Yes” Case

The Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, has set out his reasons for supporting next month’s republic referendum.

Statement by Peter Costello in support of the YES case for the Republic referendum.

Peter CostelloI don’t think I thought much about our head of state, or about the monarchy, or indeed about republics before I became a delegate to last year’s Constitutional Convention. Like most Liberals, I had seen the republic debate as a political distraction. It was something which, if it had been raised by Paul Keating, must have been a bad idea and worthy of opposition. And I think there are many Liberals who still think that way.

But I came to the conclusion that a monarchy was not the symbol for an egalitarian nation like Australia – and not a concept for me, even though I didn’t have difficulties with our present Queen.

I don’t believe positions should be settled on bloodlines; that people should hold public office because of heredity. I believe in rewarding effort, talent and creativity. [Read more…]

Hereditary Peers Abolished in Britain

House of LordsAn historic constitutional reform which abolishes hereditary peers in Britain’s House of Lords was passed today.

The Lords voted 221-81 to end 800 years of hereditary titles.

With devolution in Wales and Scotland now established, Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has presided over the most significant constitutional and parliamentary reform since the Great Reform Act of 1832. [Read more…]

Napthine and Asher Elected To Lead Liberals in Victoria

Dr. Denis Napthine was officially elected today as the new leader of the Victorian Liberals.

He was unopposed for the position. His deputy will be Louise Asher. The new leadership team signals a final end to the Kennett era in Victorian politics.

Asher, recently elected to the lower house seat of Brighton, defeated Phil Honeywood, Robert Doyle and Robert Dean for the deputy’s job. Asher and Honeywood swapped votes to keep Doyle out.

Parliament meets for the first time since the election next Wednesday 3 November.

John Howard’s Statement in Support of the “NO” Case

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has issued a statement setting out his reasons for opposing next month’s referendum on on a republic.

Statement from the Prime Minister, John Howard.

The Prime MonarchistI have previously indicated my intention to make a considered statement on the referenda to be held on November 6.

Accordingly, I attach a statement of my reasons for voting ‘no’ to the proposed republic as well as a statement in support of the preamble.

I have drawn upon this material to detail my position in a newsletter to my constituents.

27 October 1999


On 6 November Australia will vote on two constitutional proposals – one on a republic and another on a preamble to the constitution. [Read more…]