Australia MPs 'trolled' by constituents requesting Queen portraits

Australia MPs 'trolled' by constituents requesting Queen portraits

On offer is an Australian-only edition featuring the Queen wearing a wattle brooch - a gift from former Prime Minister Robert Menzies - and a pin with the Australian coat of arms.

Australian citizens, under the Parliamentary Entities Act of 1990, can receive "nationhood material", including recordings of the National Anthem, a booklet explaining the flags of Australia and and a book covering the national symbols of the country.

Now other Australian citizens, in the always enjoyable quest for free stuff, have been exercising their right to a free portrait of the Queen.

The Queen is Australia's head of state and is represented by Governor-General of Australia in Canberra, now Sir Peter Cosgrove.

MPs said they had not received any requests for Queen Elizabeth portraits - until Vice's Nicholas Lord pointed out the archaic provision in an article on Wednesday.

Federal politicians in Australia, a constitutional monarchy whose head of state is the British monarch, are not obliged to hand out the pictures, but can claim an allowance to provide them, as well as items such as flags, at constituents' request.

MP Tom Watts told ABC he'd received about "four dozen" requests in 24 hours. He has threatened that he might include additional material when he sends the portrait.

"I've been talked out of providing a photo of Beyoncé to constituents whose correspondence does not adequately particularise their request for a picture of the Queen" she tweeted.

Under the "Nationhood Material" entitlements, Australians can also ask for a portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Tim Watts, an MP in Victoria, joked: "I do find this to be comfortably the dumbest part of my job".

The program is unique to Australians because United Kingdom citizens have to buy the Queen's portrait while Canadians need to download one themselves.

Official portraits aren't available to other Commonwealth countries, including New Zealand, India, and South Africa.

Speaking in the Australian parliament in 2012, MP Bob Brown said: "If there is extra money available".

"I think that might have priority. However, if there are members opposite who can not find a picture of Her Majesty, I would be happy to provide them with one".

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