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Expert panel for the public education programme for the referendum on an Australian republic.



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Joint News Release

The Hon Daryl Williams, AM QC MP

Attorney-General

 

Senator the Hon Chris Ellison

Special Minister of State

 

20 May 1999

 

 

EXPERT PANEL FOR THE PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR THE REFERENDUM ON AN AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC

 

The Government has appointed an expert panel to consider materials prepared for a neutral public education programme that will support the referendum on the republic.

 

The panel members are eminent Australians, with experience in the public presentation of civics issues as well as constitutional expertise.

 

The panel will be chaired by Sir Ninian Stephen. Other members are Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Dr Colin Howard QC, Professor Cheryl Saunders and Dr John Hirst.

 

There will be three levels of information funded by the government to inform Australians on the key constitutional issues they will determine at the referendum: the public education programme; national advertising campaigns for and against the republic proposal; and the official Yes and No cases prepared by Parliamentarians and distributed by the Australian Electoral Commission.

 

The Government has allocated $4.5 million for the public education programme. This will allow the distribution of materials explaining the proposed republic model, the existing constitutional arrangements, the role of State constitutions and the referendum process. Supporting advertising will promote the materials.

 

The public education programme will be scheduled for September 1999, in advance of the advertising campaigns and the distribution of the Yes and No cases.

 

The role of the expert panel will be to provide advice on proposed materials to ensure they are fair, balanced and accurate.

 

Media contacts:

David Cregan: Mr Williams’ office  (02) 6277 7300

Virginia Wallace: Senator Ellison’s office  (02) 6277 7600

 

 

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