Women Say...on the Republic

Women Say...on the Republic

Sarah Brasch from Women for an Australian Republic spoke at Corowa as first speaker in favour of the Peach Proposal.

Here is what she had to say in her alloted five minutes:

"First of all, I acknowledge that this Convention is being held on the land of the Bangerang nation.

I am speaking in favour of Bill Peach's proposal and this is why:

First of all it is simple; it is not surrounded by elaborate and over-elaborate processes and the issues are stripped to their essential elements. It is, in fact, tied to existing federal processes such as elections which means that people can understand what it proposed and when, and it will cost less. We have heard people already today referring to the high additional costs of referendums and the like, well here is a way to minimise those costs.

The proposal is to the point and deals with the main issues that people raised during the 1999 referendum campaign - these were the questions and issues that were raised over and over again and which we heard when were were campaigning out in the streets in 1999. We are not at the beginning of this issue; things have advanced enough since 1999 and general knowledge has increased to the point where we can now address these issues.

But, in addition, this proposal has a number of excellent features which I put before this gathering:

The proposal deals with the issues in a way that gives directions - ie gives directions to parliamentary committees, drafters, later conventions and the like. There will be no surprises when the questions are put a second time at referendum.

It is also timely and is set around a timetable from 2004 to 2007 which is at timespan that we can all grasp.

Of particular significance is the fact that this is not a lawyers' proposal. The governance arrangements of our country do not belong to constitutional lawyers, politicians, professed or outed republicans or people attending Constitutional or other conventions. They do, in fact, belong to the people who will be the ones to decide.

Before finishing, I offer two notes of caution:

This is a very good, concise and comprehensive proposal which addresses all the important issues in an acceptably short time. I commend it to you."

Sarah Brasch is also a member of the ARM.

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Last modified: 11 May, 2002