Former Rocky MP weighs in to debate over imperial honours

Former Rockhampton MP Robert Schwarten has weighed in to the debate over imperial honours and praised Sir Graham McCamley (TMB April 1) for his thoughts on PM Tony Abbott's move to bring back knights and dames.

FULL marks to the gracious comments made by Sir Graham McCamley.

His statement in support of those who have won Australian Honours for their good work in our community is spot on.

How dare the Prime Minister Mr Abbott unilaterally without so much as even discussing it with his cabinet colleagues wind back the clock and spit in the face of those who have earned Australian-based honours. By creating imperial honours, he overlays another higher order onto that which Australians have earned and value and in doing so demeans every award recipient.

Decent Liberals like Malcolm Turnbull are revolted by such embarrassing reversion to an era where we tugged the Monarch's forelock.

Locally we see that the LNP representatives Mr Young and Ms Landry make appalling justifications claiming that the honours are there for special people.

Well I say to them both my parents and every other order of Australia recipient are special people who have done special things to deserve recognition, and I am disgusted that elected people would support such denigration of award recipients.

As for Dame Quentin Bryce, who has been paid a fortune and gets an indexed pension for life, while professing to be a republican, surely she has received reward enough.

The great majority of those who get OAMs etc are little people doing big things, like Meals on Wheels, or looking after foster kids, often at great personal expense to themselves and their families. Sir Graham earned his title at a time when imperial honours were the order of the day, and his wise counsel on this issue should be respected.

Robert Schwarten



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