Australian MPs are being flooded with requests for a photo of the Queen by citizens

Krista Thurrott
This is why Aussies are flooding their MPs with requests for a photo of Her Majesty [Photo: PA Images]
This is why Aussies are flooding their MPs with requests for a photo of Her Majesty [Photo: PA Images]

Australian politicians are being flooded with a strange request after it was recently revealed that Aussies have a ‘right’ to get a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II for free.

Originally published by Vice, the little-known right has gone viral with Australians trolling their federal MPs with requests for a photo of the Queen. The article explains that because Australia isn’t a republic and Her Royal Highness remains the current head of state, Aussies can ask for free portraits of their head of state as well as Prince Philip.

Since the article has been published, some MPs have taken to social media to update their constituents on the requests and vent their frustration at the trolls – admitting they’ve been inundated.

One MP even decided to return the favour to trolls, sending constituents more than they asked for. Alongside the photo of Queen Elizabeth II, MP Tim Watts included a poster in support of an Australian head of state and a photo of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Australian Football League legend Bob Murphy.

Watts told Buzzfeed Australia the response to the article proves how outdated the monarchy is in Australia, admitting most requests for the photo were poking fun.

“This joke just shows the lie of the monarchists’ claim that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said the MP. “The monarchy no longer unites us – the idea of a Queen of Australia just leaves us rolling our eyes.”

Due to the little-known nature of this right, MPs can’t force constituents to pay for the photos, meaning any costs associated with the mail-out is on taxpayers’ bills. The cost is also recorded in the MP’s parliamentary expense report by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.

So while it may be fun – is it truly free? That’s up to the taxpayers to decide.

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