Republic’s movement triggers campaign after mourning period for the queen

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With the day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II over, a republican lobby group is relaunching its campaign to separate Australia from the monarchy.

Australian Republic Movement chief executive Sandy Biar will lead the campaign to push for an Australian head of state.

“We have respectfully observed the mourning period for Queen Elizabeth,” he said.

“But we now have a king we did not elect as Australians, a king who has nowhere near the level of support that his mother had and one who is not fit to be Australia’s head of state.”

The federal government has already ruled out a referendum on a republic in its first term, but has suggested it will hold a referendum on the republic if re-elected in 2025.

“I made it clear before the last election what our intention was this term, and that is the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our constitution,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told the ABC last week.

“I said at the time that I couldn’t imagine a circumstance where we changed our head of state to an Australian head of state but still didn’t recognize First Nations people in our constitution – so that’s our priority in this period.”

How would we adopt a new head of state?

It gives the lobby group at least three years to spread the idea of ​​a republic to Australians.

“We recognize that there are a range of views out there in the community about what kind of changes need to happen,” Mr Biar said.

“So we’re looking forward to having that conversation over the next couple of years so we can get a proposal put to a referendum.”

King Charles looks at the coffin
King Charles III has replaced Queen Elizabeth II as Australia’s head of state, but if Australia became a republic, a new head of state would be elected.(Reuters: Danny Lawson)

The movement will push for King Charles to be replaced by an Australian head of state.

The most likely process would involve a shortlist of Australians nominated by federal, state and territory parliaments, from which Australian voters would be able to choose the new head of state.

But opinion polls do not indicate an overwhelming appetite for change.

The latest Guardian Essential poll, carried out after the Queen’s death, showed 43 per cent support for becoming a republic.

Another poll conducted by Resolve showed 46 percent support for the change.

And a Roy Morgan Research SMS poll found 60 per cent of respondents favored Australia remaining a monarchy, while only 40 per cent supported a switch to a republic with an elected president.

But Mr Biar said these results were not disheartening for the republican movement, following the mass media coverage and global outpouring of grief that followed Queen Elizabeth’s death.

“It is not at all surprising that in a time of mourning and wall-to-wall coverage, there is an increase in positive sentiment towards the monarchy,” he said.

“But this is probably the high water mark for the monarchy in Australia.”

“The real test will be in the coming years when we have a balanced national conversation.”

Australian Republic Movement chief executive Sandy Biar will lead the campaign to push for an Australian head of state.(Provided by: Australian Republic Movement)

The Queen leaves a void that cannot be filled

David Hill, a former ABC chief executive and writer on Australia’s relationship with the monarchy, said Australia would inevitably become a republic now that the world had said goodbye to the Queen.

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