Debate resumed from 30 March 2022.
Mr NATHANIEL SMITH (Wollondilly) (09:47:32): It is a great honour to continue my speech on Her Majesty the Queen. The clerks have almost been playing bingo with the amount of times I can mention steam trains from Thirlmere. I know the member for Lakemba is a big fan of Thirlmere. I took him there and we saw Cedar Creek Orchard. He got some non-alcoholic apple cider and absolutely loved it.
Mr NATHANIEL SMITH: It is absolutely delicious. As we know, the Speaker is going to London shortly and this will be the last couple of speeches on the address before we hand it over to Her Majesty. It is a great honour, as Her Majesty’s Whip in this House, to speak on her glorious reign of 70 years. Some of my republican friends on the other side of the aisle ask me, “Nat, how can this be? You’re an Irish Catholic and you’re there backing the Queen.” I am a constitutionalist and I think the monarchy is one of the greatest forms of leadership that we have ever seen. Many Prime Ministers have visited Buckingham Palace. The Queen has dealt with many issues during her reign. In World War II she was a motor mechanic and she still likes to get the tools out, although perhaps not now due to her age. I remember seeing images of a Rover at Balmoral with a broken axle and the Queen knowing exactly what was wrong, “It is a broken back axle. Get it fixed up. I was a mechanic in World War II.”
Yesterday I talked about the societies and organisations that the royal family are either patron or president of, over 3,000 organisations. The Queen also performs important ceremonial duties such as conferring Australia Day honours, recognising Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement. As I said yesterday, I fully supported former Prime Minister Tony Abbott bringing back knights and dames. I think the member for Sydney enjoyed my calling him Sir Alex Greenwich. I know that the member for Heffron enjoys his nickname, Baron Hoenig. Every time I see him I say, “Baron, how are you?”, and he says, “Well, thank you.”
Mr NATHANIEL SMITH: He does love it. Yes, a badge is getting made in my office as we speak. My electorate of Wollondilly recently celebrated many diverse Australian individuals who received an Order of Australia from the Queen, all of whom have made excellent contributions to their community and beyond. Each year on Australia Day Australians stop to see who has made the list to recognise their fellow citizens. It is well known that the Queen never misses an engagement or commitment to one of her patronages, and other members of the royal family follow the example of her leadership.
Many Australians are inspired by her amazing stamina to calmly carry on despite obstacles and critics. The family is key to the long‑serving institution. Passing down customs and traditions from one generation to the next, often on the public stage, is what makes this family so remarkable. The Queen has endured the ups and downs of family life with grace and humility. She has demonstrated a deep faith and respect for the constitutional tradition she was born into and clearly takes seriously her responsibility to pass this on, as indeed her father taught her by his faithful example. What a great man he was.
Australians have deep respect and affection for Her Majesty the Queen. She is a constant presence in an ever‑changing landscape in Australia of drought, storms, floods, fires and now the recent COVID pandemic. She is a symbol of wisdom, strength and endurance and a role model of service and self-sacrifice. At the same time, we all feel we know the Queen personally. We cared for her at the passing of Prince Phillip and we were worried about her when she contracted COVID last month. Thank God she has recovered. On this anniversary, I thank the Queen for her service to the people of New South Wales and her patronage of various groups over the years. Her service to the Commonwealth and Australia has been exemplary.
I am proud to say that the gift from the people of New South Wales personally delivered to Her Majesty by the New South Wales Agent General in London was a bottle of gin, distilled in Australia and crafted by the award‑winning Joadja Distillery in the Southern Highlands. We all know that Her Majesty likes her gin. A bottle of the good stuff is coming from the Southern Highlands to Buckingham Palace, and probably Balmoral and Windsor. We have also been successful in getting a Southern Highlands brew at the bar in Parliament House, so us southern highlanders are taking over. We get in everywhere. I toast Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch in history and the first‑ever British monarch about to celebrate a platinum jubilee. It is a remarkable record and achievement from a remarkable woman. God save the Queen.
Mr PETER SIDGREAVES (Camden) (09:54:27): I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak and express my warm congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at this time of celebration of the platinum jubilee of her accession to the throne. I express our appreciation for the ongoing dedication that Her Majesty has displayed in the leadership of the Commonwealth of Nations as well as her abiding commitment to Australia and its people. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926 as the then Princess Elizabeth. On 6 February seventy years ago, her life changed as her reign began as the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations that span the globe. On her twenty-first birthday, the then Princess Elizabeth and our future Queen said in a broadcast from South Africa:
I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
Looking back on the faithful and dedicated service of Her Majesty, I can say with great confidence that she has fulfilled her vow in every way possible. In past jubilees of silver, gold and diamond, there was nothing but the utmost joy and happiness across all the Commonwealth nations. They were celebrations of the dedication of her life to service and reminders of unity. We looked back on all the history we have shared. We all commemorated these occasions with bunting, visits, gun salutes, flags and commemorative stamps. Our Queen’s platinum jubilee is more poignant. As much as Australians love a celebration—any excuse for one is always a bonus—with great sorrow our Queen stands alone this time as she has farewelled her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, after nearly 73 years together. In that moment of great sadness, when she was frail and fragile, our Queen remained as strong and stoic as she has always been. With all the leaps and bounds, including a world war, the Windsor Castle fire, the marriages of her three eldest children and the passing of her husband, our Queen is still a beacon to us all. At 95, Her Majesty still continues to passionately be devoted to her service and dedicated to her vow.
This jubilee is one of gratitude and one to reflect on the good life we have as free people of Australia. It is a moment to reflect on the Queen’s seven decades of selflessness and dedication to the values that sustain us and make us Australians. It is a moment to remind our Queen that she does not stand alone this jubilee. We as Australians are always in support of her reign. Our Queen of every day and every hour makes us proud to be one of the first Commonwealth nations to celebrate her platinum jubilee. To honour our gratitude on this memorable occasion, monuments around the country have been illuminated in the royal purple, including the Sydney Opera House, Queen Victoria Building and more. This is a jubilee for Australia to remember the Queen, to reflect on the joy and the sorrows of her faithful dedication for seventy years, and to reflect on all the challenges, hurdles and changes for the better. As we look back on seven decades of service, we honour Her Majesty, her duty to the throne and her dedication. On behalf of the residents of the Camden electorate, I offer my sincerest congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her platinum jubilee.
A lot of members have spoken in this place about the Queen, but I am not sure whether any have spoken about how the Queen will be celebrating her jubilee. The Queen’s platinum jubilee in 2022 will include yearlong celebration throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world as communities come together to celebrate the Queen’s historic reign. On 6 February this year Her Majesty the Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the realms and the Commonwealth.
To celebrate that unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June. The bank holiday will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone. The four days of celebration will include public events and community activities as well as national moments of reflection on the Queen’s 70-year service. In addition, initiatives including The Queen’s Green Canopy and the Platinum Pudding competition will create a lasting reminder of the Queen’s jubilee. The Queen’s private estates will also join in with special jubilee-themed events, offering more opportunities for members of the public to celebrate the historic milestone.
To mark Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee, a nationwide baking competition sets out to find a brand new pudding dedicated to the Queen. The Big Jubilee Lunch and Fortnum & Mason invited applications from UK residents aged eight and over to create the perfect Platinum Pudding recipe. The competition is now closed, and five finalists will be announced in due course. Each finalist will prepare their pudding for an expert judging panel including Dame Mary Berry, Monica Galetti and Buckingham Palace head chef Mark Flanagan. The winning recipe will be made available to the public, and the pudding will be enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches during the jubilee weekend and by generations to come.
The Queen’s parade Trooping the Colour is on Thursday 2 June. Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June. Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, joined by members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages. The parade will close with a traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and members of the royal family from the Buckingham Palace balcony. Tickets for that incredible spectacular are available to the public, and applications for the ballot were open until the end of February.
The United Kingdom will continue its long tradition of celebrating royal jubilees, weddings and coronations with the lighting of beacons to mark the platinum jubilee. Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK overseas territories. To celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, beacons will also be lit for the first time in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries. The principal beacon will be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
On Friday 3 June a service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral, and further events will be announced in due course. On Saturday 4 June Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by members of the royal family, will attend the derby at Epsom Downs. The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from the Queen’s decades-long reign. The Queen has been a beacon herself throughout the Commonwealth of Nations. I acknowledge the service that she has provided to those nations, including Australia, and the joy that she has brought many residents throughout Australia, including in Camden.
Mr TIM JAMES (Willoughby) (10:04:41): On behalf of the people of Willoughby and the citizens of New South Wales, I add my congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen on the celebration of her recent platinum jubilee. I do so in support of the motion moved in this House by the Premier on 23 February 2022, which conveyed congratulations to Her Majesty on the completion of the seventieth year of her reign, sincere congratulations upon the anniversary of her accession, appreciation of her service and assurance of our loyalty and our good wishes for her continued health and wellbeing. I commend the Premier for moving the motion, and I express my appreciation and that of my community to Her Majesty for her 70 years of distinguished, lifelong service to Australia and the Commonwealth of Nations. As early as 1947, a 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth pledged:
… my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
Seventy-five years later, she has remained steadfastly true to her word. For most of us alive today, the Queen has been the great constant of our age and popular memory. In a world of flux, where leaders and heads of state come and go, the Queen has remained seemingly impregnable, like a steady rock amid the raging rapids. The sheer longevity of her reign is impressive by any measure. Since 1952 her reign has eclipsed that of 20 New South Wales Premiers, from Joseph Cahill to Dominic Perrottet, and 16 Australian Prime Ministers, from Robert Menzies to Scott Morrison. By way of international comparisons, her reign has spanned that of 14 US presidents and seven popes. As I have previously said, openly and proudly in the public square—and, indeed, as I have pronounced on national television—the Queen is, without doubt and by far, the world’s most enduring leader and stands out among every leadership figure of the past century.
Upon the death of King George VI on 6 February 1952, a young Princess Elizabeth succeeded her father as monarch of the United Kingdom and head of the Commonwealth. Following her father’s own remarkable example of servant leadership, the Queen has served her people with distinction and extraordinary dedication. Throughout her long reign, she has brought her personal touch of dignity, class and professionalism. Combining faultless decorum with personal charm and good humour, the Queen has endeared herself not only to her subjects but also to billions of admirers around the world.
Until his passing in April last year, the entirety of the Queen’s reign was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. In the 74 years of their marriage, Prince Philip was her rock and confidant, and the two enjoyed a remarkable partnership in both the public and private realms. In addition to having been the longest serving royal consort, Prince Philip was an iconic figure in his own right, famous not only for his dry wit and charm but also for founding the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Almost a year after his passing on 9 April 2021, we again salute the Duke of Edinburgh for his extraordinary service to the Commonwealth and to Australia.
Like many great leaders, the Queen has deftly blended the old with the new, as both a traditionalist and a moderniser. At the same time as exemplifying the old-fashioned values of faith, family, patriotism and personal stoicism, the Queen has reflected modern sensibilities in her dedication to advancing racial tolerance, care and compassion—including for the natural environment. As heir to the House of Windsor, she has honoured centuries of inherited tradition by remaining faithful to the customs and mores of the British monarchy. In so doing, she has given Britain and the world an acute sense of history and continuity in being part of something more enduring than the present day. However, at the same time she has appreciated that the world has changed beyond recognition since the middle of the twentieth century. From attending the funerals of common folk to volunteering to pay income taxes, she has adapted the protocols of the monarchy to the present age with aplomb and good grace.
Her balance of the old with the new is no more evident than in her role as head of the Commonwealth of Nations, in which she presides over continuity and change. Serving as an exemplary stateswoman, she has preserved the traditional ties of history and kinship between former British colonies while also navigating change as many member States transition to full independence. Shortly after becoming Queen, she revitalised the mission of the Commonwealth. In her 1953 Christmas Day broadcast, she envisioned this international community as one “built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace”. Officiating at most Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and Commonwealth Games, the Queen has given inspiration, cohesion and enduring purpose to this incredibly diverse association of nations.
It was a special coincidence that my first day in this Parliament was Commonwealth Day. I was proud and delighted to see the stunning display of Commonwealth flags and to be part of events and ceremonies, including a terrific lunch that is a magnificent annual tradition. Known to regard Australia as one of her favourite dominions, the Queen’s affection for Australia and its people is abiding and enduring. As Queen, Elizabeth II has made 16 visits to Australia—her first in 1954 and her latest in 2011. Her 1954 visit captivated the nation; an estimated three out of four Australians saw her at least once as she crisscrossed the continent on her 58‑day tour. During each subsequent visit the Queen has attracted the affection of Australians from all walks of life, generations, backgrounds and communities.
For almost three‑quarters of a century, the Queen has stood above the political fray as a focal point of unity and an adornment to our public life and polity. Officiating at national occasions—from the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973 to the opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra in 1988, which was a very special day for our nation’s capital—the Queen has been interwoven throughout Australia’s modern history. During occasions of national celebration and mourning—from the Sydney 2000 Olympics to the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009—the Queen has always spoken movingly to the national mood. Her heartfelt words of congratulations and condolence have comforted, inspired and encouraged millions of Australians in equal measure. Without intervening in Australian domestic politics, at times the Queen has acted as a subtle voice of conscience for the nation.
During her 2000 visit, the Queen gently encouraged the nation to reconcile itself with its Indigenous inhabitants. In more recent times she has awakened us to the responsibility of caring for our natural environment. The Queen has a special relationship with our city and State, having visited Sydney and New South Wales on almost all her tours. Her connections with the New South Wales Parliament are personal, having officiated at its opening on two occasions: once in 1954 on her inaugural Australian tour and again in 1992. I have seen footage and photos spanning many decades of Her Majesty’s visits among the people of Sydney’s North Shore, where I grew up. Those visits always brought forth rousing, widespread and genuinely heartfelt applause, and expressions of goodwill and support, across the community. I recall proudly offering and receiving a wave from Her Majesty during her 2011 visit.
I acknowledge the many Australian people and organisations that have supported, engaged and educated people about the Queen and her special role in our country, including the Australian Monarchist League, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, the Australian Nationhood Foundation and the Constitution Education Fund Australia. By virtue of not only her pre‑eminent place in our constitution but also her grace, dignity and lifelong dedication to our country, the Queen of Australia is a national treasure in her own right. I join with all members of this House in offering Her Majesty our hearty congratulations on this most remarkable milestone of 70 years as Queen and head of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is that the motion be agreed to.
Motion agreed to.