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Monarchist porkie costs them further credibility

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To: Political editor Media Monitors

Monarchist porkie costs them further credibility The Australian Republican Movement today welcomed the total rejection by the Federal Minister for Finance of a wild claim being peddled by monarchists that if we replace the Queen with an Australian Head of State, it will cost almost $1 billion.

Federal Finance Minister John Fahey today rejected as nonsense a curious and totally unsubstantiated study by an academic from the University of Technology Sydney which listed as its main cost a $350 million bill for replacing the entire currency in a single years if we become a republic

Mr Fahey’s comments were endorsed by the Federal Opposition’s Finance spokesperson, Lyndsay Tanner, who also condemned the so-called study as “a farce.”

These costings also:

• contradict comments by the Prime Minister who said on Adelaide radio recently that the costs would not be significant,

• and Treasury estimates prepared for the Treasurer Peter Costello which put the cost of becoming a republic at $50,000 every five years to convene a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament.

The estimate s are also totally off the wall because:

• rhe main cost listed is $325 million to replace the entire currency in a single year. The Financial Services Minister Joe Hockey has already indicated that the currency will need lo be replaced if we remain a monarchy and Prince Charles becomes King. Also, the currency is replaced over time anyway, and is always under review, with costs already built into Budget forward estimate;

• there is no plan whatsoever to change the flag, so the $60 million to $70 million cost e stimated (without any details or breakdown) is fairies at the bottom of the garden stuff,

• conversion of all logos and motifs estimated at 200 million (no details of course provided) will only happen over time and are built mto existing replacement and maintenance costs;

• the $30 million estimate (no details provided) for legal challenges to the referendum is totally without foundation and based more in fantasy than any fact;

• Vie may actually save money if become a republic as we will not have to meet the $10 million cost of each royal visit.

This so-called costing has been thrown together without any supporting material and again, contradict statements by the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Financial Services. They appear to be more politically motivated, especially since they are being distributed by the monarchists who are totally opposed to Australia ever becoming a republic.

It is yet another monarchist lie and an attempt to again hide the No case’s total inability to defend the monarchy as an institution is relevant to life in Australia in 1999.

November 1,1999

Enquiries: Wayne Bums, tel 02 9267 8022 or 0416 048 567.

Australian Republican Movement Limited A.C.N. 054 557 505 Telephone: +(61 -2) 9267 8022 Facsimile: +(61 -2) 9267 8155 PO Box A870 Sydney South NSW 1235 Level 11,60 Park Street Sydney NSW 2000 Toll free: 1 800 80 2000

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