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Transcript 11285

Distortion by Mr Turnbull

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 28/10/1999

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 11285

The Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, should not, as he did on the "Today" Show this morning, distort or misrepresent what I have said about what would happen in the event of victory for the "No" case at the referendum.

On this morning’s programme, Mr Turnbull stated "…the Prime Minister has said…that a No vote ends the issue. The Prime Minister said very clearly yesterday … that he doesn’t foresee any future referendums (sic) on the republic".

I did not say this. What I said yesterday was that if the republican proposal were defeated I did not see the issue being quickly re-visited in another referendum. I used the expression "I cannot see the thing coming back in a hurry". (A partial transcript is attached).

That had a qualitatively different emphasis from what Mr Turnbull sought to portray in his remarks.

In his attempt to attract the support of direct election supporters to the "Yes" case, Mr Turnbull clearly sought to exaggerate my remarks.

My position is very clear. I believe that if the "Yes" vote wins there will not be a future vote on the option of a direct election for the presidency. I explained my reasons for this in my detailed statement.

My attitude about the consequences of a No vote is as outlined yesterday.

Mr Turnbull knows this. He should not seek to distort, for his own purposes, what I said.

28 October 1999

Transcript 11285