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Move With The Times To Remain Relevant, Queen Tells CHOGM

Australia’s Head of State, the British Queen Elizabeth II, speaking in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth, has officially opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum, on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland.

  • Listen to the Queen’s speech (7m)
  • Listen to Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General (7m)
  • Listen to the opening music (16m)
  • Listen to Waltzing Matilda (3m)

Text of Queen Elizabeth II’s speech at the opening of CHOGM.

QueenMr Prime Minister, Mr Secretary General, President Mbeki, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with you today in Coolum. I am delighted that this meeting takes place in Australia, one of the Commonwealth’s founding members. I know it was originally planned to coincide with the Centenary of Federation last year, but that is still recent enough for us to congratulate the people of this country on that major milestone in their history. May I thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for the warm welcome we have all received in Australia.

May I also express my best wishes to you, Mr Secretary General, as you embark on your important responsibilities at this your first Heads of Government Meeting in your present post, although you are of course no stranger to Commonwealth meetings. [Read more…]


CHOGM Off, Election Announcement Expected Soon

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), scheduled for next week, has been postponed, clearing the way for the calling of the federal election.

CHOGMAn announcement from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, this morning confirmed speculation in recent days that the meeting would be cancelled because of the attacks on the United States on September 11.

Preparations for attacks on Afghanistan and its Taliban government continue. The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has recalled the House of Commons next week.

The visit by Queen Elizabeth II has also been cancelled.

With football finals on this weekend, an election announcement is possible on Sunday. The Governor-General, Dr. Peter Hollingworth, will be in residence at Yarralumla and would be able to see the Prime Minister, John Howard. A dissolution of the House of Representatives could take place with an election to be held at the earliest on Saturday November 7. [Read more…]