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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Anthony says YES to a Republic

National Party MP and Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony has announced he will vote in favour of Australia becoming a republic in the November 6 referendum.

Mr Anthony said while supporting a move to a Republic he would not be taking a leading role in the YES campaign as it was a conscience vote.

“Ultimately it is up to each one of us to make up our own mind on this issue but I would urge all Australians to make an informed decision before casting their vote on November 6.”

“For me, the bottom line is that every Australian should be able to aspire to being our head of state,” Mr Anthony said.

“I am also concerned that if the republic proposal is defeated this time, there will be a more radical direct-election model on the table in the future,” he said.

“By contrast this proposal maintains our Westminster system and its institutions and John Howard’s own views means that we will only see minimal change and stability will be maintained.”

“The president under the existing proposal would have the same powers – no more, no less – as the current Governor-General. In fact the President would be more accountable to Parliament than the Governor General.

“We keep our flag, our two houses of Parliament and our Prime Minister, our laws and court system, our own constitution and we remain in the Commonwealth.”

“Federation in 1901 was the birth of Australia as a nation and our first steps towards independence from Britain.”

“Nearly 100 years later, Australia’s defence, our legal system, our trade, our financial system and our economy are all independent of the United Kingdom.”

“In fact we have now become truly independent – except for our head of state. Let us take this last small but important step together now!” he concluded.

Mr Anthony stressed that his decision in no way diminished the respect he had for Queen Elizabeth II and Australia’s institutions which had “served us well.”