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Academic intellectually shallow on the republic.

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Liberal Senator for Tasmania




Academics wanting to use the weight of their positions and institutions in the Republic debate needed to display an intellectual rigour in th eir arguments equivalent to their status, according to Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.


Senator Abetz a No voting Republican and former Chair of the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee was commenting on Melbourne University Vice Chancellor’s (Professor Alan Gilbert) intervention in the Republic debate.


“Professor Gilbert’s pathetically inept criticism of the question meant he wanted Australians to vote for a republic without letting the Australian people know that type of republic.


“Professor Gilbert would not allow a student to enrol at Melbourne University simply on a request to study,” Senator Abetz said. “The student would need to choose the type of study to be undertaken, the faculty, the course, the units, etc.


“Similarly, the decision facing Australia is not about whether we become a republic but the type of republic,” Senator Abetz. “To try to sidestep that fundamental discussion is academically shallow and disingenuous.


“And our stability in Asia is and will continue to be determined on how we conduct ourselves. Some Asian countries have monarchies but all of them envy our stability that is provided by our Constitution,” Senator Abetz said.


“The cultural cringe of Professor Gilbert should be rejected. We have a lot of which we can be proud.


“We shouldn’t be voting ‘Yes’ to please Asia or someone else. We need a system of government that will maintain our stability. The proposed model fails that test,” Senator Abetz.


Ends 13.10.1999

Contact: Senator Eric Abetz  (02) 6277 3710 or 0418 136 208



att  1999-10-14  12:46