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REPUBLIC FOR DUNCES
Preamble Issue

Preamble Resources
Referenda 1999:

There are two referendum Bills that will be put to the Australian people on 6 November 1999. They are:

  1. Constitution Alteration (Preamble) 1999, and
  2. Constitution Alteration (Establishment of Republic) 1999.
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Resources:
  1. Download a PDF copy of the Constitution Alteration (Preamble) 1999 Bill.
  2. Beginner's Guide to the Constitution
  3. The Australian Constitution
  4. Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942
  5. Australia Act 1986
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Preamble Index:
  1. Preamble Question
  2. Proposed Preamble
  3. Effect on the Constitution if the Preamble question is passed at the Referendum on 6 November 1999
  4. Effect on the Constitution if the Preamble question fails at the Referendum on 6 November 1999
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Preamble Question: On 6 November 1999, the Australian people will be asked, in accordance with s128 of the Australian Constitution, to either approve or disapprove a proposed law:
To alter the Constitution to insert a preamble Voters will be asked to write "yes" or "no" in the box provided on the (mauve coloured) ballot paper.
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The Preamble:

The preamble that voters will be asked to approve/disapprove is:

With hope in God, the Commonwealth of Australia is constituted as a democracy with a federal system of government to serve the common good.

We the Australian people commit ourselves to this Constitution:

proud that our national unity has been forged by Australians from many ancestries;

never forgetting the sacrifices of all who defended our country and our liberty in time of war;

upholding freedom, tolerance, individual dignity and the rule of law;

honouring Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, the nation's first people, for their deep kinship with their lands and for their ancient and continuing cultures which enrich the life of our country;

recognising the nation-building contribution of generations of immigrants;

mindful of our responsibility to protect our unique natural environment;

supportive of achievement as well as equality of opportunity for all;

and valuing independence as dearly as the national spirit which binds us together in both adversity and success.

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Effect on the Constitution if the Preamble question is passed at the Referendum on 6 November 1999:

The above mentioned preamble will be inserted after the Title in the Constitution (Clause 9 of the Constitution Act). This preamble should not be confused with the preamble of the Constitution Act. The Constitution Alteration (Preamble ) 1999 Act, will commence on 1 January 2001 - the Centenary of Federation - regardless of whether or not the republic referendum is passed. The following new section - s125A - will be added to Chapter VII (Miscellaneous) of the Constitution:

125A . The preamble to this Constitution has no legal force and shall not be considered in interpreting this Constitution or the law in force in the Commonwealth or any part of the Commonwealth.
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Effect on the Constitution if the Preamble question fails at the Referendum on 6 November 1999:

No changes to the Constitution will be made in respect of this proposed law should the preamble question fail at the referendum on 6 November 1999 regardless of whether or not the republic referendum is passed.

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