Australian MPs inundated with requests for free portraits of the Queen

Free stuff is good but how about

Under the Constituents' Request Program, Australians can ask their MPs for nationalistic memorabilia.

Australians are taking advantage of an archaic law that entitles voters to a free portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, but they're being warned they might get more than they bargained for.

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

According to the "constituents" request program', voters Down Under are eligible to receive nationhood material, which includes recordings of the National Anthem, a booklet on the flags of Australia, a booklet on Australia's national symbols and a portrait of the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The scheme was revealed in a Vice article published on August 8 that told readers they could email their MP to request a picture.

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Gellibrand MP Tim Watts told ABC Radio that he had never received a request for a portrait before Vice's story.

Mr Watts said in a tweet: "I do find this comfortably to be the dumbest part of my job".

Australian MPs have been inundated with requests for portraits of the Queen thanks to a quirk which means those down under are entitled to request free "nationhood material" from their local politician.

He added that he had added pro-republican material into the portrait's packages.

This included a photo of retired Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy and former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.

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MP Terri Butler had also had a few requests.

Another Victorian Labor MP, Ged Kearney, tweeted that while her office did have portraits of the Queen available, she usually received more requests for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

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

New Zealand is looking to introduce downloadable portraits while other Commonwealth countries like South Africa and India don't offer official portraits.

Australia is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with the Queen as its head of state.

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