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Government challenged to accept Austrailan flag bill

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I t

DAVID H a w k e r : Federal Member for Wannon Shadow Minister for Land Transport

M e d i a R e l e a s e



Member for Wannon, David Hawker has again challenged the Hawke Labor Government to pass legislation which would ensure no change to the Australian Flag without first having a referendum of the Australian people.

Speaking today in Parliament on the Flags Amendment Bill 1990, Mr Hawker said: "Our national flag is a proud and historic banner. We should honour and preserve it. '

The Bill would require the Government of the day to hold a referendum before any move was made to change the flag.

"The Government should accept this amendment and show it has genuine support for the Australian flag," Mr Hawker continued.

"This would remove any shadow of doubt about the Government's sincerity.

"If it refuses, the people of Australia have every reason to doubt the Government's supposed new found support for the Australian flag.

"Since 1985, the Opposition has made four attempts to have such protection for the flag written into the legislation. Each time such an amendment has been rejected by the Government. The most recent was September last year and the Government deliberately allowed my Private Members Bill to lapse.

"The Constitution cannot be changed without the consent of the people. Surely the Australian flag - which is so representative of Australian history, pride and endeavour - deserves the same treatment."

Mr. Hawker said he had no doubt that if a referendum concerning this matter were ever put to the people, Australians would have no hesitation in supporting the present flag”.

Ends 6 September 1991 For further information contact: (06) 2774231