A few months ago I received a call from a researcher at Four Corners. I spent some time speaking with her about Malcolm Turnbull, whom Four Corners is profiling tonight. She was interested in my perspective because I had been the National campaigner director for the 1999 Republic Referendum, and worked closely with Turnbull over that period and beyond, when I took over from him as Chair of the Australian Republican Movement. I told Four Corners I was happy to go on camera to talk about Turnbull but didn’t hear back from them. If I had, here’s what I would have told them.
Malcolm Turnbull’s efforts to guide the 1999 Republic Referendum campaign have been the subject of much misinformation. It is said that Turnbull, a Sydney Eastern suburbs lawyer and banker, was the wrong person to front the campaign. His presence, it is said, damaged the Yes campaign.