'To Australia' and 'Australia's Head of State'
It appears all my letter writing to MPs before and after the last State election, constant pestering letters to the Premiers Department, and parliamentary committee submission has paid off.
On 3 September 2009 the ‘Law, Justice and Safety Committee’ (formerly LCARC), Queensland Parliament, tabled in Parliament the report ‘Options for modernising the oaths and affirmations of allegiance in the Constitution of Queensland 2001’. The report can be accessed at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/ljsc
The Committee recommended that the Constitution of Queensland 2001 be amended so that:
All oaths (and affirmations) of allegiance currently contained in the Act be worded so that allegiance is to be sworn (or affirmed) to Australia AND to EITHER (at the option of the person taking the oath (or making the affirmation):
· Her (or His) Majesty … (name of Sovereign) … as lawful Sovereign of Australia and to Her (or His) Heirs and Successors; or
· Australia’s Head of State and to his or her successors in office.
The Committee noted a divergence of views as expressed in submissions as to whether it is appropriate that it be mandatory to swear an oath of allegiance to the Sovereign. The Committee believes that making it optional to take an oath of allegiance to the Sovereign best caters for these differences of opinion. This allows each individual to make a decision that reflects their own beliefs. Such a decision mirrors the current choice available to all those who are about to take office to either take an oath or make an affirmation, based on their personal beliefs.
At the same time, the Committee sees it as important that there be an oath (or affirmation) of allegiance. The Committee therefore proposes that, where an election is made to not swear (or affirm) allegiance to the Sovereign, there be a requirement to swear allegiance in terms ‘to Australia’ and to Australia’s ‘Head of State’.
This is more than we could have hoped for! Now we have to keep our fingers crossed to see if Parliament will enact the report.
Three cheers for the coming republic!