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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 958

Senator MAUNSELL (QUEENSLAND) - I present the following petition from 1,988 citizens of Australia:

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled: The Petition of the undersigned respectfully sheweth:

That whereas our constitutional parliamentary democracy was clearly developed as a Federation to preserve for all time to the Australian people their cherished right to live as free men and women, enjoying complete liberty of worship, assembly, speech, movement and the communication of knowledge and information.

And whereas our existing Australian Flag and our national anthem. 'God Save The Queen', are perpetual reminders of these hard-won freedoms and of the wise British principle of the division of power, so well reflected in our own Australian Constitution with its careful separation of powers as between the Crown and Commonwealth Parliament, the Senate, the State Parliaments, the GovernorGeneral and State Governors, and the Independent Courts of Justice.

And whereas all such rights, liberties, heritage, advancement and prosperity, etc., are of no avail if our Armed Forces are unprepared or incapable of repelling invasion of our shores or withstanding other military threats.

So therefore must all these things be accorded the highest national concern and priority.

Your Petitioners most humbly pray that the Senate, in Parliament assembled, will take the most urgent steps to ensure:

(a)   The most rapid, efficient and largest possible expansion of all branches of our Defence Forces, and greatest possible strengthening and extending of defence treaties and security arrangements with our traditional friends and allies,

(b)   The right of every Australian citizen to vote at a National Referendum or Senate or Federal Elections for the retention of our present Australian Flag and equally of our national anthem, 'God Save The Queen', before any government or other body can attempt to substitute either a new flag or anthem, and a similar voting right for the choice of any official National Song to play on international occasions.

And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

Petition received and read.

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