No republic in Australia while Queen on throne: Howard

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Sydney, Nov 5 (ANI): Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said that there would be no republic in the country while the Queen remained on the throne.

Speaking in Sydney, Howard told a lunch marking the 10th anniversary of the failed republic referendum that the greatest threat to the collective will of Australians today were renewed efforts to introduce a Bill of Rights.

Howard delivered the 10th annual Neville Bonner Oration and he called his speech "The Crowned Republic".

Commenting on the Bill of Rights, Howard said Australia's democracy was already well served by Parliament, a free and sceptical press and an honest judiciary.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying that taking power away from ordinary citizens and placing it in the hands of the judiciary was a recipe for disaster.

On the republic, he said support for the republic during the referendum campaign in 1999 was driven by "elitists" whose views were rightly rejected by Australian voters.

"It's well and truly on the backburner and it will stay so while the monarch remains on the throne," Mr Howard said.

About 300 people attended today's lunch, including radio personality Alan Jones, high-profile monarchist Professor David Flint and a leading face of the "no" campaign during the 1999 republic referendum, Kerry Jones. (ANI)

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