Tim Watts has received in influx of requests from his constituents in the Federal Electorate of Gellibrand, which includes Hobsons Bay, with members of the community requesting a free picture of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, which they are entitled to request.
Vice Media published a story alerting to the fact that every Australian citizen is entitled to request a picture of the Queen free of charge. The story advised that all you have to do is contact your local MP who will then send you a portrait of the Queen.
Speaking with ABC Radio National Drive presenter Patricia Karvelas on Wednesday, Federal Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts provided an update on how many requests his office had received and also clarified what the legislation enables him to do.
“Before the story was published yesterday, I had received zero requests for portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and in the last 24 hours about four dozen requests. I think 99 percent with tongue firmly in cheek,” Mr Watts said.
“I’m not legally obliged to provide these portraits. The legislation that Vice stumbled on creates an ability for me to source these pictures and then I may provide nationhood material of this kind to my constituents.”
“It is utterly up to the discretion of your local member of Parliament. So, I’m sure Tony Abbott will be gleefully sending out pictures of our monarch to his constituents as we speak, but you’ll get a bit of value added service from me in the electorate of Gellibrand.”
Tim Watts speaks with ABC Radio National Drive presenter Patricia Karvelas. (09/08/18)
Constituents may wish to think carefully about the type of “nationhood material” they would like before sending off a request, because while Tim Watts might be fully stocked and ready to ship, it appears he has his own thoughts on the Government’s gifts.
“I’ve chosen to respond with a bit of nationhood material of my own for Melbourne’s West. Some portraits of Bob Murphy and Julia Gillard, some Australian Republican Movement membership forms and an invite to our BBQ at Williamstown Beach this weekend,” he said.
“I should say that I think that there is some merit behind this nationhood material. Usually people use it to request flags when they’re representing Australia overseas, or schools, or community groups.”
“Very frequently I give out Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander flags and I think that is a worthwhile thing to do for our community. It’s not all about giving out pictures of Liz and Phil the Greek.”
One can only imagine that when the Julia Gillard pictures run out of stock, Tim Watts might move onto a new batch. It might make sense to start shipping pictures of the new Queen of the West.
If you live in Hobsons Bay or a part of Maribyrnong or Wyndham that sits within the Federal Electorate of Gellibrand, request your portrait of the Queen by emailing Tim Watts at Tim.Watts.MP@aph.gov.au or write to him at 97 Geelong Road, Footscray, VIC, 3011.
Getting my pictures of the Australian Head of State ready for the dozens of #Melbswest constituents who have now requested them from me as their MP.
Making appropriate local adjustments before sending them out…. pic.twitter.com/UXwlyr7Pfe
— Tim Watts MP (@TimWattsMP) August 8, 2018
Yesterday, Vice News published a story informing Australians that they can request a portrait of the Queen from their local MP.Since then I’ve had dozens of tongue in cheek requests of a portrait of her maj for the mantelpiece from constituents in #melbswest.This mass practical joke just shows the lie of the Monarchists claim that if it our constitutional arrangement ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The monarchy is broken – it no longer unites us. The idea of a “Queen of Australia” is a punchline for most Aussies.Given this, I responded in kind to requests for a picture of our head of state…Australian Republic Movement
Posted by Tim Watts MP on Wednesday, 8 August 2018