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Australians have emailed MPs with dozens of requests for free portraits of the Queen, after the little-known entitlement was publicised this week.

Under official rules, citizens may ask for "nationhood" material - things such as Australian flags, anthem recordings, and portraits of the head of state.

One MP, Tim Watts, said most requests for images of the Queen were due to a case of "excellent trolling".


Australian MPs field sudden requests for Queen portraits

BBC News
10 August 2018


MP Andrew Hastie with his own portrait of the Queen

Australians have emailed MPs with dozens of requests for free portraits of the Queen, after the little-known entitlement was publicised this week.

Under official rules, citizens may ask for "nationhood" material - things such as Australian flags, anthem recordings, and portraits of the head of state.

One MP, Tim Watts, said most requests for images of the Queen were due to a case of "excellent trolling".

It followed a Vice story that had drawn wide attention to the entitlement.

"I can say before the story was published, I had received zero requests for portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth," Mr Watts told the ABC.

"The last 24 hours, I would say [I have received] about four dozen. I think 99% were tongue firmly in cheek."

Other lawmakers also noted the influx of requests, with some making light of it.
Rebekha Sharkie MP ✔ @MakeMayoMatter

Replying to @KevCorduroy

We've received more than 25 requests for a portrait of Queen in the last 12 hours.

1:02 AM - Aug 9, 2018

18 See Rebekha Sharkie MP's other Tweets


Terri Butler MP ✔ @terrimbutler

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.

In other news, whoever wrote that @VICEAU article about #nationhood materials is not popular in my office.

6:25 AM - Aug 9, 2018

305 110 people are talking about this

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

Some people on social media complained that frivolous requests were "taking up valuable time and money".

Mr Watts said it was more common to supply constituents with flags, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ensigns.

"Usually people request flags when they're representing Australia overseas for sport or school or community groups," he said.

Australia is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with the Queen as its head of state. She is represented in Canberra by an appointed governor-general.

The nation voted against becoming a republic in a 1999 referendum, but some politicians say the debate should be revisited.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-45139047