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Wednesday, 29 September 1993
Page: 1448


Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (7.07 p.m.) —If one looks at the relevant provisions of the previous affirmation or oath, one sees that there is a reference to bearing allegiance to Her Majesty, her heirs and successors according to law, and that is a distinct aspect of it. The previous oath or affirmation goes on to say:

. . . I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.

That reference to the laws of Australia obviously embraces the laws of the national government, the state governments and the institutions under the constitution. The words that are now being proposed are `loyalty to Australia whose laws I will uphold and obey'. Once again we have the political entity and land entity that Senator Tate talked about. The reference in the new pledge, as opposed to the previous provisions, is very similar. It refers to an obligation to faithfully observe the laws and uphold and obey the laws of Australia. There is no difference between now and previously. It is very clear that any legal reading of the current pledge or the previous provisions indicates a need to uphold and obey the laws of Australia on a national, state and territory basis.

  Bill, as amended, agreed to.

  Bill reported with amendment; report adopted.