Letter from Oz

A THOUSAND representatives from different backgrounds, financial situations and cultures met to discuss what they would like to see implemented for the future development of Australia by federal and state governments over the next 20 years.

Peter Gladwell

A THOUSAND representatives from different backgrounds, financial situations and cultures met to discuss what they would like to see implemented for the future development of Australia by federal and state governments over the next 20 years.

Our participation in helping to clean up our environment as part of the world's drive to reduce carbon and our reliance on fossil fuels came top of most people's agenda.

Pretty high on the list was Australia becoming a republic and relinquishing ties with the British monarchy as our Head of State.

In the past this has proven to be a contentious issue, particularly among monarchists and older Australians.

The Rudd Labour Government included becoming a republic in their election manifesto and over the years other Labour governments have pushed the same barrow without a great deal of success.

Most Read

But the mood is changing among younger Australians, especially those from ethnic backgrounds who have migrated here from countries with no allegiance to the present Queen.

It will remain to be seen if we become a republic but clearly there is a much greater chance of it being approved this time if the Federal Government were to hold a referendum than previously.

Without wishing to cause any controversy among readers, I think the royal family can blame themselves for how the public see their position in the modern world.

Clearly the death of Princess Diana brought a great deal of public opposition and anger to the fore and it showed that the royals had not only lost touch with the people but have not considered making even the slightest adjustments since to being part of the real world.

There is no doubt about the immense cost involved in becoming a republic, for changes will need to be made not only to our coinage but our legal and parliamentary system.

This even goes down to having a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday.

Needless to say we will not require the six or seven Governor Generals representing the Queen in every state including the current and recently elected Governor General of Australia, the Queen's representative to the nation residing in Sydney.

Personally I have always thought having all these governor generals is rather absurd and an unnecessary expense when, after all, we only have one Queen.

Tragedy struck again in Sydney Harbour when a small cabin cruiser collided with a fishing trawler during the early hours of Thursday morning, killing six young people who were aboard the cruiser.

Reports indicate the smaller craft was overloaded and the accident happened in a notorious part of the harbour where in the past other boating accidents have happened before.

Currently New South Wales Police are investigating the cause of this tragedy and whether alcohol was involved.

The State Government Transport Minister will be investigating this accident once he is in possession of the police report, and whether the area in which the collision took place was the prime cause.

Around 18 months ago a Sydney harbour ferry was involved in a collision in about the same location with some loss of life.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter