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Military pension no bar to presidency.

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News Release

The Hon Daryl Williams, AM QC MP



26 October 1999





Suggestions that military pensioners and their families could not aspire to be President under the proposed Republic model are qui te wrong.


The claim is yet another example of the Monarchists’ mischievous misinformation campaign.


Even a cursory glimpse at the explanatory memorandum of the Republic Bill would have clarified the position of Australian servicemen and women and their families. They, like any other Australian, will be able to aspire to be Australian head of state.


Anyone who receives an Australian military pension is not currently disqualified by subsection 44(iv) of the Constitution from membership of Parliament and would not be disqualified under the proposed amendments.


Subsection 44(iv) of the Constitution currently disqualifies people who receive pensions ‘payable during the pleasure of the Crown’.


This does not cover modern pensions, such as Australian military pensions, which are payable under legislation.


The proposed amendments of the second paragraph of section 44 would simply remove references to ‘the Queen’ and ‘the Queen’s navy’. These references relate only to the Queen’s ministers of State and the British navy or army.


They do not in any way affect the position of Australian servicemen and women or their families.


Like the other amendments in Schedule 2 of the Republic Bill, the proposed amendments of section 44 of the Constitution are simply consequential in nature.


I call on those who propose a ‘No’ vote on 6 November to debate the real issues, rather than continue to spread false and emotionally manipulative information.



Media contact:

Catherine Fitzpatrick; (02)6277 7300



md 1999-10-27  09:58