Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Let's Not Waste Money; I'm Not a Commentator But

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Let's Not Waste Money; I'm Not a Commentator But

Article excerpt

Byline: Colin Claridge CONTRIBUTOR

FORGIVE me if I'm wrong but aren't we still supposed to be living under national fiscal restraint?

Isn't Scott Morrison still harping on about living within our means and not using the Commonwealth's credit card to buy the national groceries?

Which makes it extremely difficult to understand the enthusiasm for another costly postal survey on a topic we've already declared mixed interest in. How does spending more money on such a thing fall within aforesaid fiscal parameters?

Leading up to Australia Day 2018, that peak body of irrelevance -- the Australian Republican Movement -- is once again calling for the Commonwealth Government to spend taxpayers' money on campaigning for a republic.

What is ridiculous is that the Prime Minister hasn't ruled out categorically the idea that the question (or should that be "a" question) to us by way of another postal survey.

Now, as I understand the Constitution, we cannot become a republic by any means other than by a referendum. (Short of either a military coup installing a junta or China moving its border to south of Tasmania, of course.)

So what these people are now suggesting is that the Government spend another couple of hundred million on a postal survey to basically test the waters and if the response is favourable to their aims, then this would be followed up with a referendum, which would invariably also cost us a few more hundred million.

And we can be guaranteed that (if this week's release of Keating Cabinet papers are any indication) the republican model they will propose will not be one where a president would be elected by the people.

Because, as Paul Keating determined back in his day, we voters can't be trusted to get it right.

So, if the result of all these hundreds of millions of dollars is that the majority of voters nationally as well as the majority of voters in the majority of states and territories say "Yes", then one can logically conclude that many more millions would then be spent on the little tweaks that would have to be made to everything from departmental stationery, coinage and state constitutions.

I for one don't see our current constitutional arrangements are requiring that kind of change. …

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