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Thursday, 15 November 1973
Page: 1831

Senator BONNER (QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that the Government has plans for a survey of 60,000 people to decide what our national anthem will be? If so, why is it that only 60,000 people will decide what the Australian national anthem will be? Why is 'God Save the Queen' not included on the list?

Senator MURPHY - I am not sure of the exact number but I understand that some sample has been selected of the Australian people, no doubt by the usual sampling methods so that if the figure is 60,000 it will fairly represent the Australian people. The honourable senator is aware of the techniques used in this sampling process. It means that a decision can be made by a representative sample which will give a true indication of the general opinion of the Australian people. I suppose if the result were very close one could probably say that a larger vote should have been taken. It may be that the sample will give sufficient indication of the clear view of the Australian people. That is why it will be done that way. It will be done that way no doubt to save the expense of conducting a vote of all citizens. As to whether 'God Save the Queen' is included in the list, my assumption is that what has been done was done by decision of the panel of persons which was set up to make a judgment on the matter. I think that is the answer that has been given previously. If there is any departure from that course I will inform the Senate.

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