Honorary President

Senate Submission


 The Amendments 
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 Section 59
 Section 60
 Section 61
 Section 2
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© 2004 David Latimer

An Independent Institution

Average Annual Costs

No republican model can compete with the Queen in terms of financial cost. She provides her services entirely for free of charge. Although a royal tour is often quoted as being a cost, in reality, this has little constitutional value and we could pay for a royal tour irrespective of whether Australia become a republic.

The model for the Honorary President competes well with other direct-election models, as the cost of running an additional office is far less than holding six state elections for Governor.

The annual salary of the Honorary President should be as significant as the Prime Ministerís. Apart from this, the office would require a small team of assistants and advisors. Staff could be accommodated in rented offices anywhere in Australia. The major consumable would be transport and most staff time would be taken up with correspondence. A satisfactory budget for this would be two million dollars per annum

In comparison with the Office of the Governor General, there would be no gardening and property staff, nor an awards unit or Australia Day Council. The budget would be many times smaller than that at Government House.

Expenditure on the election, occurring approximately once every six years, is minimised due to its synchronisation with federal elections and the use of postal ballots. Such an election may cost between ten and fifteen million dollars, with the public information campaign at an additional five million dollars.

Average the election cost over six years, add salary and office expenditure and the result would be less than six million dollars per annum. This is fifty cents per working adult.

Financial Benefits

Naturally, there is a non-financial benefit, through the Honorary Presidentís support of community and charitable organisations. Such a benefit is unquantifiable but has potentially large indirect financial implications.

A direct financial benefit may accrue when the Honorary President travels overseas. On an international tour our Head of State would be in an excellent position to promote Australian business, tourism and culture. Unlike existing arrangements, there could be open co-ordination between the office and business groups to heighten interest in Australia, whenever an overseas opportunity arrises. The potential benefit of this to our export income may significantly offset the costs of having an Honorary President.

The comparative benefit over other republican models is that there are no ongoing costs for the states and lower transitional costs. Most republican models leave open the establishment of republican state governments (the McGarvie Model is the clear exception). Consequently the cost of these models is understated by a factor of three.

For example under the bi-partisan appointment model, if the cost of the public information campaign supporting the nomination committee was one million dollars, the cost of the same activity for all six states would be in the order of two million dollars. The total cost would therefore be three million dollars.

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