BTRWe need to oppose Council Recognition, writes Brant Rippon

The Gillard Labor Government has announced a referendum on the recognition of Local Governments within the Constitution of Australia to be held in conjunction with the election on September 14.

As Michelle Grattan highlighted on Friday, there are those on both sides of politics that do not want to see the referendum held – at least, not on September 14. ALP power brokers think it is an ‘extra burden in an election where Labor has almost nothing going for it’.

Back on the ‘right’ side of politics, Tony Abbott has begrudgingly inherited backing for the change, which has been Coalition policy for some time. Many Coalition members and supporters have highlighted the fact that a referendum on September 14 will muddy the proverbial waters. For September 14, Coalition supporters should want the second Saturday in September to be solely a vote on Government. A vote to get the nation back on track. A vote of no confidence in this inept Labor Government that has broken so many promises and left Australians with a mountain of debt and increased costs of living. The Howard era certainly was the halcyon days.

Strategically, the Coalition will want the electorate focused on the negatives and broken promises of the Rudd/Gillard Governments, and not be distracted with a referendum. As Coalition campaign advisors have said, the Coalition should and will be 'campaigning at the election to change the government, not the constitution'.

To borrow a Boswellian phrase, the Australian Monarchist League will be 'manning the barricades' for the NO campaign. You might at first think, 'why would an organisation whose main ethos is to protect the Crown be involved in a referendum on council recognition?'

The League's mission statement is 'Australians protecting the Australian flag, the Australian Crown, and the Australian Constitution.' The primary purpose of the Australian Monarchist League is to educate and inform the Australian public on Australia's history and particularly on the Australian Constitution.

Established in Australia in 1943 as a pressure group for upholding the educational and cultural aspects of our constitutional monarchy, AML has today morphed into a significant and effective 'not-for-profit' voluntary organisation which lobbies State and Federal governments to reverse decades of 'republicanism by stealth'. We consider the appropriate recognition of our Sovereign, Royal Family and traditional institutions, the upholding of the principles of the Westminster System and the maintenance of the concept of competitive federalism on which the Commonwealth was founded, as essential aspects of our system.

The League will be opposing the referendum on two fronts:

(1) Lack of time: According to reports, the Australian Electoral Commission has indicated that it requires a minimum of 27 weeks to properly prepare the arguments for YES and NO cases. There are fewer than 15 weeks remaining to the election and the Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 2013 Bill, although drafted, has not even been introduced into the parliament. Our main hope is that the Coalition will conduct a well-funded NO case and this is what we are lobbying for. However, whatever happens, the League will be there doing its best to protect the integrity of our Australian Constitution.

We are also in touch with other organisations to co-ordinate our activities. With the shortage of time, every hand to the wheel counts.

(2) Centralisation of Power: There is clearly a divide over the referendum and whether to support it within the Coalition.   WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith said last week that recognition would "distort the federal structure, give rise to unforeseen and unintended consequences and will lead to an eventual eclipse of the states and their eventual irrelevance as a balance against the centralist power of the Commonwealth".

The Australian Monarchist League echoes Senator Smith's views. A YES vote could result in undermining the very existence of the States. It has long been Labor Party policy to erode the viability of the states by slowly centralising power to Canberra via years of scope creep, much like the 'republicanism by stealth' campaign that has existed over recent decades. It should be noted however that the Howard government was no better in regards to the 'Canberraisation' process.

The League has proceeded to lobby members of the Federal and State parliaments very successfully with a number of politicians coming out to pressure the Federal Coalition party to oppose the referendum. A leading member of the Coalition front-bench has written to the League to say: "May I take the opportunity of personally encouraging you in this campaign."

A member of the Newman Government wrote to AML saying, "I certainly note that there is divided opinion in the community on this issue. With respect, there are much more important issues at stake for the nation in this election. I cannot speak on behalf of the Coalition, however I know that I, and many others do share your view." Queensland Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the state is not sure whether the wording would allow a federal government to go beyond simply funding. "If it comes with the ability to control, I'm scared".

At this stage, both the Western Australian and Victorian Liberal Councils have voted to incorporate a NO vote in their HTV cards on 14 September.

The League is in the process of setting up a referendum website which should be operative in coming days. We call on all conservatives to lobby their local Coalition member, Senator or candidate to not support the passage of the Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 2013 Bill through parliament.

Not only has there been a serious lack of public consultation from the Commonwealth Government over recognition of councils, but if there is one thing that this inept Labor Government has proven over the past six years is that the last thing Australians need is more power gifted to Canberra.

Brant Rippon is the State Chairman of the Australian Monarchist League’s Queensland Branch

The NSW Succession to the Crown Bill undermines constitutional federalism


Alex Greenwich MP argues that the NSW Succession to the Crown Bill undermines states right and constitutional federalism, and that NSW should instead use the "Queensland model" of the bill"

The Succession to the Crown Bill rightly removes discrimination against female heirs and includes other changes proposed to regulate royal marriages 

While I support Australia becoming a republic I welcome moves to modernise succession.

Having said that, I am concerned about the approach taken in the New South Wales bill and think the State would be in a better constitutional position if it adopted a similar approach to that agreed between the Commonwealth and Queensland.

The bill before Parliament could impact on the Crown of New South Wales because it only acknowledges in its objects a single Sovereign of Australia as opposed to seven separate sovereigns for the Commonwealth and the states. Either single or several sovereigns is the constitutional position and the issue remains without resolution or hope of it in the near future. The Bill should not refer to New South Wales as having as its sovereign, “the Sovereign of Australia”.

It is strongly argued that the negotiations proceeding the Australia Acts 1986 produced an outcome where the sovereign who succeeded the Queen of the United Kingdom in New South Wales was and is the Queen (in the right) of New South Wales. It is certainly the view of the Queensland Parliament and if Queensland, by adopting the approved Hybrid Model, thinks it is better off, why should we put ourselves in the way of missing out with unknowable constitutional implications.

I believe that the State’s sovereignty with a Crown separate to the Crown of the Commonwealth was established by the 1986 Australia Act. The effect of the Australia Acts is that the Queen may now only receive advice on State matters from the relevant Premier instead of from the relevant Minister in the United Kingdom. The Australia Acts of 1986 did not make the Queen of Australia sovereign of the states – each state sovereign is separate from the other state Sovereigns and from the Sovereign of Australia. These seven Sovereigns are not the same entity and should not be collectively referred to by the State of New South Wales as the “Sovereign of Australia”.

At the 2012 Council of Australian Governments the Commonwealth agreed that all states had two options to enact succession changes. The first option is the Referral Model, which is adopted in the NSW State Bill, refers all power to the Commonwealth. The second option is a model which allows a state to enact its own succession legislation while referring legislative power to the Commonwealth Parliament to pass the Commonwealth Succession to the Crown Act. This is known as the Hybrid Model.

The Hybrid Model was developed to accommodate the concerns of the Government of Queensland to deliberately preserve state rights from a state rights perspective.

The Hybrid Queensland act changed succession to the Crown of that State and assented to Australian legislation to the same effect. It defines the Crown as the Crown in all its capacities in respect of which the Parliament of the State of Queensland has the power to legislate. This is constitutionally preferable.

By comparison, the New South Wales bill refers only to the Sovereign of Australia and does not define the Crown in relation to the State.

Adoption of the simple process of a Hybrid Model bill along the lines of the Queensland Act would remove any risk to the separate sovereignty of New South Wales.

The New South Wales bill should preserve the existence of a State Crown, and failing to do so is a backward step and has been justifiably described by Professor Anne Twomey – who supports the Queensland hybrid model – in the Canadian context as “de-patriating” the Crown.

Every effort should be made to ensure that the legislation does not, even unintentionally, strengthen the federal Crown argument. The bill should emphasise and protect the New South Wales Crown while referring to the Commonwealth Parliament any additional powers it requires to enable it to finalise the change on a national basis.

I am not convinced that there is a valid explanation for the State not adopting the protective Queensland Hybrid Model. It would clearly preserve the State’s separate sovereignty while having no adverse impact on the agreed and proper object of the legislation.

Why would NSW contemplate an action which may impair its separate sovereign status when it does not need to take that risk and has the blessing of the Commonwealth to avoid that outcome with certainty?

Alex Greenwich MP is the independent Member for Sydney 

Twisting Tornados into Climate Crises


As usual, Viv tells it like it is as climate hype comes under closer scrutiny. GC.Ed.@L.

Already the climatists are spinning a carbon scare story out of the Oklahoma tornado. US Senator Barbara Boxer said in a speech on global warming, just one day after the Moore tornado: “You’re going to have tornadoes and all the rest.  . . . Carbon could cost us the planet.”

There is nothing unusual about tornadoes in Tornado Alley on the Prairies, or hurricanes in the Caribbean, or cyclones in the Coral Sea – all have been creating extreme weather events long before Europeans arrived in these areas and long before the surge of industrial growth in the 1950’s.

Despite the intensity of the news reports, the severity of US tornadoes is not increasing – there have been many US tornadoes with greater severity and more fatalities than the Moore tornado. One in 1935 resulted in 695 deaths in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.  What is increasing is the population density in the threatened areas and the demand by some media outlets for a man-made climate scare every week.

USA and Australia will continue to suffer intense tornadoes, hurricanes and cyclones but carbon dioxide is blameless.

Instead of wasting billions on the mega-myth that man controls the climate, both countries should spend that money on building infrastructure that better withstands natural disasters.

Successful species are those that learned to cope with natural disasters.

Viv Forbes,

Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition

Rosewood    Qld   Australia

Gillard denies ASIO hack

Chinese spies hacked secret US weapons systems including F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: reports

Chinese cyber spies have reportedly obtained top-secret information on major weapons systems in the US, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Washington Post says a confidential report prepared for the Pentagon reveals the designs for more than two dozen weapons systems were compromised.

They include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Australia is buying from the US, the Osprey aircraft, and a new US Navy combat ship, according to the Post.

Read more: Via ABC News

The burr under Julia’s saddle

Team Rudd accused of sabotaging shaky Julia Gillard

KEVIN Rudd backers have again been accused of engaging in a final attempt to destabilise Prime Minister Julia Gillard before the election.

With 108 days to go before the poll, tensions in the Labor caucus spilled over yesterday, with the PM coming under attack on a number of fronts from within her own ranks.

Read more: Via Adelaide Now

Confession of a Jihadist

I was a radical Islamist who hated all of you

MOST people find it hard to imagine stabbing another human being, let alone almost decapitating someone with a meat cleaver.

To do so in broad daylight and in the middle of the road, while asking passers-by to take pictures, simply beggars belief.

Few can understand how the British jihadists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale could be filled with such hate.

I'm ashamed to say I can. For I was similar to them once.

Read more: Via Adelaide Now

Ghettos, then NO-GO areas

A new underclass of 100,000 asylum seekers, living on as little as $220 a week and with no rights to work, could be created in just five years if current trends continue.

Charities have warned they are unable to cope with the rising tide of impoverished asylum seekers, with one centre in Melbourne's south-east closing its doors to new clients after being ''swamped'' with requests for food aid.

Read more: