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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 600

Mr CHAMPION (Wakefield) (11:35): I rise to congratulate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on her Sapphire Jubilee. I was very fortunate to have been born in a town named after the Queen and to still represent that town. From time to time there is a debate in Adelaide about whether the city of Elizabeth should be renamed, but I think it is a fitting tribute to our monarch that Elizabeth is named after her.

We were very fortunate that the Queen visited northern Adelaide on 21 February 1963. She went to a city that was born of the optimism of that postwar generation. It was an industrial satellite city. It had previously been farmland and had expanded out for housing and, of course, for factories and development. I have a picture of Her Majesty, as a younger lady, at the Holden factory. It was so lovely that she came out on 21 February, on a day that was as hot as South Australia is today. Three thousand or so people went to greet her, including a choir. Some of the members fainted while waiting for her in the heat. But she was very welcome in that town that bears her name.

I think it is important that we acknowledge many of the attributes of the monarchy that the previous speaker spoke about. But he should realise that that period of stability has, I think, been linked to the character and the conduct of Queen Elizabeth. Much of the stability that we have enjoyed and many of the attributes that he assigns to the system of the monarchy have been due to such a good monarch. We should all acknowledge that, whether we are republicans or constitutional monarchists.

I think it is tremendously important that we realise that the conduct of the people within our government, the constraints on power, the denial of power, the observance of convention and the unwritten rules in our Constitution are the glue that binds us. The fact that we are, I think, the fourth oldest continuous democracy in the world is not just a tribute to our monarch; it is a tribute to our people and to the way every citizen in Australia conducts themselves, particularly around the peaceful transfer of power. I am a republican, but I feel no urgency to exert that idea. It will come naturally, as our independence has since federation—and we have been very fortunate that our monarch has been of like mind and has let us exert that independence.

One thing I related to the House on the previous occasion I spoke here, and which I think is fitting to repeat, was that, for a long time, a fountain with a gold tap had sat in the town square in a park where people enjoyed their lunch. Very sadly, that park was bulldozed. It has now become a car park for Target. The fountain with the gold tap went missing. They tried desperately to find it, and they eventually located it; they wanted to have it ready for the next royal visit. Unfortunately, they did not quite meet the previous deadline, but that fountain with the gold tap will be restored to its place, not in the car park but adjacent to it. We hope that our monarch, Queen Elizabeth, can come once again and reopen that very historic fountain in the city of Elizabeth. In this time of transition for that city, with General Motors Holden now leaving, perhaps the monarch can come and signal a new journey for the town that bears her name.