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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 191 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

this issue. The point has been made by both Mr Corbell and Mr Quinlan that the ACT community supports the ALP in its views on this issue. I think it is fair to say that not only the ACT community, our constituents, support us overwhelmingly on this issue but, if you look at the nature of the debate that we had in relation to the republic, an overwhelming number of Australians support the Labor Party view on the desirability of an Australian head of state.

I refer to the most significant of the polls that were undertaken in 1999. In September 1999 a news poll of city and country voters showed in fact that 95 per cent of Australians agree that the head of state should be an Australian. On the weekend of 9/10 October a news poll conducted by the Weekend Australian revealed that 88 per cent of Australians strongly believe that an Australian should be the Australian head of state and reject the notion of Australia having as head of state a foreigner-a foreigner who visits the country once every two or three years.

The point was made in the extrapolation-a false extrapolation-that because the referendum was not successful Australians have accepted the notion of Australia having a foreign head of state. This is simply not true. The referendum was on the nature of a particular republic and it is simply a republican model that was rejected by the people of Australia. The people of Australia have not rejected the desirability of Australia having its own head of state and it is not correct to suggest that, because the referendum failed, Australians embrace the Queen. They do not. They may love her, they may think she is lovely, but they do not want the Queen to be our head of state.

Only 10 to 15 per cent of Australians persist in the view that the Queen should continue to be our head of state. You are representing 10 to 15 per cent of the broader Australian population and probably less than 10 per cent of the ACT population.

Mr Kaine: Don't upset me, Jon, or I'll bite ya.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Kaine, I am not reflecting on your age and longevity-I have no doubt you have many decades yet to live-but I fear that if you live just a few more years you will be living in an Australian republic. So gird your loins to the possibility of living under an Australian head of state or just give up the ghost and die soon.

Acknowledging the inexorable move to a republic and the overwhelming sentiment within the Australian and ACT populations for an Australian head of state, it follows that references in our legislation should reflect the aspirations of our modern, independent and democratic community and our overwhelming desire to have our own head of state as our representative, and that is why we support Ms Tucker's bills.

There are a range of other reasons why we support the bills. If you took the time to look at the oaths or affirmations that Ms Tucker proposes you would see some of the other very good reasons. The oaths or affirmations proposed by Ms Tucker require officer holders, including members of this Assembly, to commit to act well their offices and act impartially and according to the law. These elements are contained in the existing oaths and affirmations, but in the existing oaths and affirmations these elements of impartiality and lawfulness and commitment to office are subservient to the need to swear or affirm allegiance to the Queen. An oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Queen has no

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