Recent revelations that the former Prime Minister was secretly appointed to five ministries shows the system is broken and reform is long overdue, the Australian Republic Movement says.
ARM Deputy Chair Meredith Doig said is it time that Australia’s Constitution was reformed to provide more accountability for the Prime Minister and those responsible for ministerial appointments.
“What we’ve learnt is that we can’t rely on the old constitutional conventions of the British system and we need to be protected from a Prime Minister seeking to accumulate American-style presidential powers. It’s time to forge our own version of a republic, with a Head of State accountable to the Australian people,” Dr Doig said.
ARM Chair Peter FitzSimons said there had been a surge in calls for an Australian republic, but that needed to translate into support for the Movement to achieve the much needed changes to our Constitution.
“The defence of the monarchists has always been, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’,” said ARM Chair Peter FitzSimons AM.
“Well, this week, the national mood that it is broke is stronger than ever and we need to change the Constitution so that we can have a Head of State whose authority rests on the sovereignty of the Australian people, instead of relying on the support of the Prime Minister.
“At present, we have a model where the Governor-General is essentially appointed by the Prime Minister – and can be sacked by that Prime Minister. That clearly hasn’t delivered the transparency Australians expect and without transparency there can be no accountability. When an Australian Head of State is elected by Australians and answerable to them, as we propose, they’ll be independent of the Prime Minister and will consider it their duty to deliver the transparency demanded by Australians.
“The greatest enemy of republicanism in Australia is the notion that it is inevitable – a word that has sapped republican will for generations. Even now, it is not inevitable. But we have all that we need to get this done, including now a growing appetite for real change, galvanised by the revelations of the last week. It is time we got on with it.
“If you want to see an Australian republic, now is the time to show your support and join the Movement,” Mr FitzSimons said.