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Thursday, 19 June 1997
Page: 4714

Senator MINCHIN (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister)( 9.28 p.m.) —The Prime Minister is the minister who is ultimately responsible for the convention, and it was the Prime Minister who took the recommendation to the cabinet. The cabinet made a decision, and you know how cabinets work. There was plenty of discussion and plenty of suggestions as to what there finally should be. Ultimately, it was a cabinet decision.

I have already said that the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Democrats, every state and territory government, the Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy and the Australian Republican Movement were specifically invited to submit names and did so, and those were given proper consideration. A whole range of other organisations, including the ALGA, for example, submitted names. There were, as I say, a total of 850 formal nominations—either self-nominated or otherwise—and the cabinet had the prerogative of considering a whole lot of other Australians as well who were not necessarily formally nominated.