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Tim Fischer warns against centralised power republic could lead to a two prime ministerial situtation

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REPUBLIC c o u l d l e a d t o a t w o p r i m e m i n i s t e r i a l s i t u a t i o n

Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer HP today warned against moves to increase centralised power and called for a return to excellence in the governance of Australia.

Addressing the Victorian State Conference of’ the National Party at Morwell, Mr Fischer warned that the greatest threat to Australia and our basic freedoms is the concentration of power.

"Australians have been hoodwinked into believing that it is safe to grant power to governments as long as it is for good purposes, above all to Government raised in the cocoon of Canberra.

"They must wake up to the dangers of an over governed society. Good objectives can be perverted by bad means.

"I warn that the real agenda of those who want to change the Flag and create a Republic is to decimate the States and centralise more power in Canberra.

"The switch to a Republic would never involve just a simple changing of the name of the office of Governor General to that of President. The method of election or appointment of President is also one fraught with danger to the stability of any nation."

Mr Fischer warned that the more the direct and democratic method of election utilised, the more power and authority will accrue to the office of President of Australia - no matter what power limitations are deliniated.

"Australians beware. The Flag and republic debate is firstly a distraction from fixing the fundamental problems in the economy and creating jobs.

"Secondly, and inevitably, it would lead to greater

centralisation of powers in Canberra and thirdly would create a dangerous cocktail of duel leadership of President and Prime Minister on the one turf in Canberra, a two Prime Ministerial situation."

Mr Fischer said he was sick and tired of Labor's Constitutional engineering, Labor's engineering of electoral laws and Labor's social engineering. What is needed is a reversal to being .dragged down to the lowest common denominator. In its place must be people and Governments who strive for excellence.

Ends 2 May 1992

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