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Keating's Attack in Indonesia on our National Flag



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T im Fischer m p Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Ai

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources

KEATINGS ATTACK IN INDONESIA ON OUR NATIONAL FLAG

Prime Minister Paul Keating's attack on the national flag whilst on his first overseas visit to a foreign country represents a total breach of convention and is a disgrace.

Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, said this today when speaking at Gunnedah in northern New South Wales, saying the Prime Minister had not only weighed-in on the flag, but also the issue of the Republic of Australia, in a divisive way in a foreign country.

"Bob Hawke would never have done this as he has always observed the so-called 'London' Convention where divisive domestic political issues and criticisms were left at home.

"In this Anzac week it is particularly offensive to many veterans that the Prime Minister has attacked the flag and proposed a new flag without giving any assurance that there will be a referendum on the issue.

"Under current laws the flag can be changed administratively by signature of the Prime Minister and the Governor-General.

"I challenge the Prime Minister to issue a one paragraph statement in Canberra before Anzac Day saying that there will be no change to the national flag unless there is a referendum across Australia."

Mr Fischer said that the flag has served Australia well in the past and the present and should continue to serve Australia well in the future.

ends

23 April 1992

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