Last year we lost a great Australian. We lost Gough Whitlam. In the outpouring of grief came true acknowledgement of the vision and achievement of his government. Today marks 40 years since the Dismissal, a black day in Australian history, a day when an elected government was removed from office by the Governor-General.
We have heard a lot of faux outrage in recent times when government members have moved to change leaders and therefore prime ministers, but 40 years ago today is the only time that a government and a Prime Minister have been removed from office. And yet, 40 years later, the Constitution that allowed the Governor-General to dismiss the Whitlam government has not been revisited in any restorative way.
These events breathed life into a debate about our place in the world, about our relationships, about how we could truly take our place in the world as an independent democracy, confident and proud of who we are and our institutions. On this day, remembering the events of 40 years ago, I call on members of this House to work together for an Australian republic and for an Australian head of state.