It’s not widely known, but all Australian citizens are entitled to a free portrait of their federal MP’s Queen, and requests are pouring in.
It’s part of the “nationality stuff” funded by the federal government, but those who want one had better ask for it soon – MPs’ offices are quickly running out.
Several offices have already posted the last of their stash of the highly sought-after portraits, including that of Dr Sophie Scamps, the MP for Mackellar on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The office of Dr. Scamps said it’s had “many, many requests” for portraits of the Queen since her death was announced 10 days ago, but they’ve been up as of Monday.
Time is running out to claim your free portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (pictured) from your local MP
Pictured is politician Andrew Hastie with his own portrait of the Queen
The office is taking people’s records and trying to take more inventory, but it may be that the replacement portraits will be of King Charles rather than his mother.
The offices of MPs receive far fewer requests for portraits of the new king than of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Treasury Department, which is allocating funds for the alms, said photos of King Charles will be available once they are sent to the government.
“Every time royal portraits are updated, updates to the items available as national material are taken into account,” a department spokesperson said.
“The Australian government is awaiting the publication of an official portrait of His Majesty King Charles III.”
Under the ‘constituents’ request programme’, all Australian citizens are eligible to receive selected national material which includes portraits of the monarch, Australian flags and CD recordings of the Australian national anthem.
However, the program has proved controversial in the past.
On March 22, 2012, then-Greens leader Bob Brown criticized the policy and opposed a Senate vote on it.
MPs’ offices receive far fewer requests for portraits of King Charles (pictured) than Queen Elizabeth II
“Motion 729 calls for unspecified amounts of public money to be spent on distributing portraits of Her Majesty to unspecified members of the public through members and senators,” he said.
“I believe there is a very adequate voter allowance to cover that issue.”
He was then interrupted by Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson, who accused Brown of “not getting his facts right.”
But the leader of the Greens was not deterred and continued: The reality is that this is priceless.
The late Queen Elizabeth II was extremely popular in Australia. Here she is pictured with her late husband Prince Philip in Southwest WA Busselton in 2000
“If additional money is available,” it should be about helping Indigenous people preserve their language, Mr Brown said.
“I think that might be a priority. However, if there are any members across the street who can’t find a picture of Her Majesty, I’d be happy to provide them with one.’
If you would like a portrait of the Queen, don’t delay and contact your local federal member today.
The full list of contact details for MPs and Senators can be found here.