Letter to Members December 2022

Letter to Members December 2022


With our warmest greetings for a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year for 2023.
We sincerely hope and pray that it will bring joyous tidings compared to the upsets we all faced in recent times.



As we near the end of 2022 we look back on what has been a rather tumultuous time. In February and then in June we all jubilantly celebrated Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and her 70 years on the throne and then we had the shock of having to come to terms with the sad passing of our beloved Queen and the immediate accession of Charles III as King of the United Kingdom, Australia and his other realms.

In May we saw a change of government and the immediate appointment of one of the leading members of the Australian Republican Movement, Matt Thistlethwaite, as Assistant Minister for the Republic and the commencement of a campaign both of republicanism by stealth and the actual implementation of a campaign towards constitutional change to a republic.

We also saw the colourful Peter FitzSimons end his reign as head of the Australian Republican Movement and the appointment a few weeks ago of the sporting and SBS identity, Craig Foster, as the new leader.

These events will be the ones which will flow over into 2023.


The coronation of King Charles III will be held on Saturday the 6th of May 2023. We expect that Mr Albanese will be in attendance, which is surely rather inappropriate considering he has already commenced his campaign to topple Charles as King of Australia.


The government’s ‘consultation’ process will commence and is something that must be watched closely and any bias towards a republic countered by the Australian Monarchist League together with all those opposed to a republic.

2023 will also be the year in which we commence setting up our Federal, State and electorate-based campaign committees and groups. It will also be a time of in-depth soul-searching as we develop our campaign stratagem to meet the new paradigm of reasoning in what is a constantly changing community.

It is also expected that the referendum on the Voice will be held in 2023. Whilst the Australian Monarchist League can have no official position on the Voice, we are nevertheless keeping a close watch on it as the processes that the government takes will most likely also apply to the republic referendum.

Section 128 of the Australian Constitution only talks about “The proposed law for the alteration thereof” (of the Australian Constitution) and that to pass would require a double majority meaning a 50%+1 nationwide vote and a 50%+1 vote in a majority of States, meaning 4 out of the 6 States. This means that if the Yes case obtains 4 or more of the 6 States but do not get a nationwide majority, the referendum fails. If they do get a nationwide majority but only win in 3 or fewer States, the referendum likewise fails.

The detail of how the referendum will be put to the people and the wording of it will be contained in a Referendum Act which must be passed by the Parliament. This Act will also contain details of funding and its allocation thereof to the Yes and No cases.

The government has advised that, in regard to the Voice, there will be no funding for both the Yes and No cases. Of course, the Yes case does not require funding because the government itself is promoting it. We anticipate that it will be the same with the republic referendum which is obviously of great concern to us as we have no way of matching the millions of taxpayer dollars the government will use to get its way.

The government has not provided any sort of detail of what the amendments to the Constitution in regard to the Voice will actually be. They now say they will provide such detail before the referendum but how long before and how much is yet to be determined. If the detail provided is sparse, then it is not unlikely that the matter will be taken to the High Court for determination and that ruling will govern referendums well into the future.

All of these matters are of high interest to us as we face what members of the government have termed the major change to the Constitution, meaning of course, change from a constitutional monarchy to a presidential republic.

Whilst the proposal for a referendum on the Voice was included in Labor’s campaign agenda, the matter of a republic was specifically taken off it. Mr Thistlethwaite had stated that his appointment and the move by the government towards a republic came under Section 6/11 of Labor Party policies which state “Labor supports and will work toward establishing an Australian republic with an Australian head of state”. 

However, since this was not put before the people and was even publicly taken off the agenda, the government most certainly has no mandate from the people to even appoint Mr Thistlethwaite as Assistant Minister for the Republic let alone spend millions on a ‘consultation’ process even though it may be Labor Party internal political policy.

Surely, the government should rather be concentrating on reducing cost of living and energy prices which are crippling the people and furthermore, instead of pouring millions into a republic, put those same monies towards helping alleviate the suffering of those desperate Australians ravaged by floods.

However, this bludgeoning ahead without regard for the voter is typical of republican governments who seem to care not for the opinions or welfare of the general public but only for their party-political ideological agenda.


We are finding that many members are no longer attending functions with some saying that they would prefer to join via Zoom or other means. We have, so far, avoided being totally online but with the lack of response from those members who used to attend functions, we now have to give thought to this in 2023. We know that it does cost money to attend a function and we would obviously like to look at providing functions without cost, but it is so very difficult to locate any suitable venue central for everyone that will be without charge.

Now, you would have noticed that we have not made a Christmas appeal for funds and we are not going to do so. So many members have been so very generous over this past year and, whilst we do need funds to continue our fight to retain our Constitution intact, we know there are many calls on your purse. Accordingly, rather than supporting the League during this Christmas season, why not give some thought to helping Australians in need.

With every good wish and with many thanks for your support

Yours sincerely

Philip Benwell
National Chair
Australian Monarchist League 



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