Record of the historic Summit Meeting between the National Directors of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) and The Republican Party of Australia (RPA) – Tim Mayfield and Peter Consandine respectively – in CBD, Melbourne, 22 July 2015
Agreed at the Outset: That as the Leaders of the two foremost Australian Republican organisations with approximately 2000 Members each, Mayfield and Consandine were both merely first amongst equals and ‘fellow travellers” in the republican scheme of things.
Notation #1: Consandine apprised Mayfield of the efficacy of the so-called ‘Oz Republic-by-Default Campaign” waged, so far, in the 3 Australian States of Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia since October 2014 and reported on in April 2015 by The RPA…
Mayfield indicated that it would be most UNlikely that the ARM would be involved in this particular campaign in the future; that The RPA was ‘on its own”;
Mayfield revealed to Consandine that his remit was to build momentum – over the next 5 years – for a plebiscite on the republic by 2020 which (see below) would perfectly dovetail with the federal Labor Party”s program being officially enunciated at the coming weekend triennial Labor National Conference;
Mayfield confirmed that the ARM would be manning a fringe republican stall at this coming Labor Conference;
Mayfield expressed his determination to maintain the ARMs non-partisan status and to clearly delineate the ARMs platform, objectives and operations from that of the Labor Party and the sub-grouping Labor for an Australian Republic;
Mayfield declared that the ARM is looking into building a new campaign and that this would be announced in due course;
Mayfield invited The RPA to make a formal approach to the ARM in writing notwithstanding the previous indication by him (see above) and previous non-interest in The RPAs ‘Oz Republic-by-Default Campaign” by his predecessor, David Morris.
Notation #2: With reference to the social media outlet Facebook comment ‘doing the rounds” currently alleging that there is a supposed war going on between the ARM and The RPA…
Mayfield not inclined to want to put out a joint Media Release to reject the imputation;
Consandine insistent that if the ‘war talk” becomes toxic then the ARM and The RPA revisit the issue and address it jointly, as appropriate.
Notation #3: That former Chair of the ARM, MalcolmTurnbull, is a Life Member of that organisation he once heavily-financially supported.
Notation #4: Consandine gave several hard-copy documents on the 24 most recent years of history on ‘matters republican” to Mayfield plus a commitment to furnish 3 more specific documents once The RPA had completed the second phase (of three) of its re-registration application to the Australian Electoral Commission on or about 7 September.
Notation #5: The Troy Bramston article in today”s The Australian newspaper with regard to the Labor Party Opposition Leader Bill Shorten”s commitment to deliver a plebiscite to determine the model for Australian Republic in the year 2020 – coincidentally the same year that the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is pre-planning a Northern Territory Statehood.
Notation #6: Consandine praised Mayfield for his published response to Mike Sketetee”s article of 19 June in the Drum viz: ‘We”re Too Cynical for the Republic Cause Right Now”.
Notation #7: That The RPA would be distributing 2000+ mailers by post during August which would enclose in each envelope package (a) Wattle Day Newsletter #10 + (b) official and personalised invitation to the
1st September Republican Umbrella Group event viz: the Annual Wattle Day Luncheon [at which Hugh Mackay is the Guest speaker] + (c) ‘STATE of the REPUBLICAN NATION Report #4″.
Notation #8: That the 3-phase approach to arrive at a republic the second time around which was negotiated by then ARM National Director Ted O”Brien and RPAs Peter Consandine in February 2006 was re-confirmed.
Notation #9: Mayfield and Consandine concurred that the old Republican Gatherers organisation which ceased to exist at the end of its 5th National Get-Together on the last weekend of May 2009, in Melbourne, be revived with either the same acceptable name or a name something like the “Coalition of Australian Republicans” (CAR) sooner rather than later. In this respect, the two principals agreed that the legator of the Clem Jones memorial $2 million republican trust, David Muir in Brisbane, be approached – separately but cogently – with the view to ‘opening UP the purse strings”.
Notation #10: Mayfield assured Consandine that he thought it most UNlikely that the ARM would be involved in ANY way in the Tony Abbott-PM initiative to have indigenous (first) Australians recognised, per referendum, in the preamble of the Australian monarchical constitution.
Notation #11: Mayfield, likewise, thought it was highly UNlikely that the ARM would involve itself in the 2016 (or 2015, as the case may be) next federal election.
Notation #12: Consandine”s congratulationary memo to new ARM Chair, Peter Fitzsimons, on his very-recent accession to the governing position.
Notation #13: Mayfield commits to adding Consandine to the ARM mailing list and so receive, first-hand, ARM information being disseminated to the ARM rank & file membership as and when. It was acknowledged by Mayfield that this was a belated reciprocal step.
Notation #14: Consandine advised Mayfield that, as 2016 was the next Commonwealth census year, The RPA would be conducting its usual 5 year survey of federal Coalition of Liberal and National parliamentarians (both Senators and Representatives) as to their contemporary republican sentiments and publish the results, accordingly. Consandine added that there might be some percentage in surveying ALL other non-Labor parliamentarians, simultaneously.
Notation #15: Consandine revealed that he, personally, was not excited about the prospect of a Bill Shorten-led federal Labor government and that Shorten, indeed, would be fingered in The RPAs next party-political Campaign Bulletin (#45).
Notation #16: Consandine expressed the considered view to Mayfield that present Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, a sincere and dedicated republican, should NOT be under-estimated insofar as she could be, as the replacement Coalition PM, the facilitator of the second republican referendum process.
Notation #17: Mayfield and Consandine agreed that whenever either of them were in Melbourne or Sydney, every endeavour should be made to meet up, one-to-one, and absolutely ‘keep the communication lines as free and open as possible”.