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The Australian Republican Movement today



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To: Political editor Media Monitors

&

January 18 1999

M^dia Release

I J ^

The Australian Republican Movement today rejected suggestions that the November Republic Referendum will fail becausfe it will be opposed by some Cabinet Ministers.

The Chair of the Australian Republ

Australian instead of a foreigner

can Movement, Malcolm Turnbull, said more

Cabinet Ministers and Coalition Government Members now supported having an

Constitutional Convention in February last year. as our Head of State, than following the

“There is obviously a variety of views within the Coalition Government about the Republic, but support within the Government for an Australian Head of State has been growing over the past 12 months.

"It is important for people to realise millenium with one of our own as He. that the decision for Australians to face the aid of State will not be made by the Government, but by the Australian people themselves" Mr Turnbull said.

"Comments yesterday by junior Employment Minister Tony Abbott that Cabinet did not consider the Head of State Issue to be important, were not only unfortunate but misinformed, as media reports today twill confirm.

“While Tony Abbot» has a role to play in this debate, his position as a former Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy really do disqualify him from making authoritative statements on behalf of the Howard Government.

“The Prime Minister has stated consjstently that this is a conscience issue and that Government Members and Ministers will be able to support which ever side of this debate their conscience dictates," saip Mr Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull said: "The Australian Republican Movement will continue discussion over the next few months to muster the support and resources of all groups in the community which support an Australian as Head of State.

"These efforts include national gatherings of Republicans on January 25 and 26 to kick off a declaration of action or republicans nationwide.

Sap

9267

Australian Republican M Telephone: +(61 -2) PO Box AS70 Sydney South NSW Toll

ovement Limited A.C.N. 054 557 505 8022 Facsimile: +(61 -2) 9267 8155 235 Level 11,60 Park Street Sydney NSW 2000 ree: 1 800 80 2000 Email Addrcsi: republic@uzemail.com.au Internet Home race: http://www.rcpnblic.ora.au

“As well as street parades anjl public meetings, the coordinated series of national events includes the launch of fa declaration of principles to guide the pro-republican campaign at the Sydney Opera) House at lunchtime on January 25," Mr Turnbull said.

Republicans will also meet wit|i Coalition Cabinet Ministers including the Attorney General, Mr Williams and leading Opposition, Democrat and Independent representatives during the next jew weeks.

Contact: Wayne Burns 02) 936110072 or 0417 029 567