Australian Republicans push for independence hours after Queen’s death

Republicans in Australia wasted no time in renewing calls for their country to sever ties with the Royal Family following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Adam Bandt, leader of the Greens, tweeted that “Australia must move on” following his death and that “we must become a Republic”.

Mehreen Faruqi, her deputy, went even further – saying she “cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on lives, lands and wealth stolen from colonized peoples”.

“We are reminded of the urgency of… becoming a republic,” she said, before adding: “Condolences to those who knew the Queen.”

Greens leader Adam Bandt called for an Australian republic in his ‘tribute’ tweet to Queen Elizabeth after her death

Mehreen Faruqi, her deputy, went much further - saying she

Mehreen Faruqi, her deputy, went much further – saying she ‘can’t mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives’

The Australian Republican Movement was quick to issue its own statement, just 24 minutes after news of his death was announced – 19 minutes before Prime Minister Antony Albanese.

Although he did not call for a new vote on giving up the monarch as head of state, he noted that she ‘supported the right of Australians to become a fully independent nation’ in the last referendum organized in 1999.

issued a statement just 24 minutes after news broke of Her Majesty’s death, saying

Peter FitzSimons, who leads the Republican Movement, told the Manning River Time that he expects an outpouring of support now that the Queen has died.

“A phenomenal number of people have said to me over the years, ‘I’m absolutely with you, but not until the queen passed away,'” he said.

“And I expect there will now be a surge of interest, of membership, of donations.

“With the greatest respect for Charles III – and I mean it; I have nothing against him personally – he does not enjoy the same deep source of affection and loyalty as Her Majesty.

Republicans believe a new referendum could now be held to become a republic within two years, the Times added.

The last time Australia voted to drop the British monarch as head of state, the decision was narrowly defeated with 55% in favor of keeping it.

Australia last voted to become a republic in 1999, under then Prime Minister John Howard (pictured with the Queen in 2006), a monarchist

Australia last voted to become a republic in 1999, under then Prime Minister John Howard (pictured with the Queen in 2006), a monarchist

But the result was widely seen as a reflection of disapproval of the proposed alternative systems rather than an affection for the monarchy, and as such the debate never really went away.

Anthony Albanese, who was elected Prime Minister of Australia in a vote earlier this year, is a Republican and wasted no time in creating a new post of ‘Deputy Minister for the Republic’ after taking the power.

But he stood his ground by calling for a new vote yesterday, saying ‘today is not the day to talk’ about severing ties with the monarchy.

Polls show a significant chunk of Australians favor removing the monarch as head of state but, perhaps crucially, it’s not a clear majority and young voters are the most strongly opposed.

A June survey by polling firm Essential found that 44% of Australians were in favor of the country becoming a republic, up from 48% in March.

The poll also found that 40% of people aged 18-34 were against the move – the highest of any group.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who led the Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000, also said it was “too early to say” what will happen after the Queen’s death.

Turnbull recalled that the first time he and his wife met Queen Elizabeth, the monarch gave them a portrait of her and Prince Philip.

“With a wry smile, she said, ‘You are here. You can put them in a closet, I guess,” Turnbull recounted.

The staunch Republican even wept on Friday as he revealed he and his wife took the portrait out and admired it as news of the Queen’s deteriorating health circulated.

Anthony Albanese, a Republican, refused to answer questions about a new referendum yesterday - saying it was not

Anthony Albanese, a Republican, refused to answer questions about a new referendum yesterday – saying it was ‘not the day to talk’ about severing ties with the monarchy

“We just thought: what an amazing life. What incredible leadership,’ Turnbull told public broadcaster ABC. ‘It’s the end of an era.’

Republicans in New Zealand adopted an equally respectful tone after hearing the news of Elizabeth’s death.

“The passing of a family member is always a sad moment and New Zealanders, regardless of their opinion of the Head of State of Aotearoa, will send aroha (sympathy),” said Louis Holden, President of the Republic of New Zealand.

He added that the group would not make any further statements before the Queen’s funeral.

New Zealander Petra Otte told AFP she hoped the queen’s death “wouldn’t spark a debate in the media here” about becoming a republic.

“I would find it disrespectful to the Royal Family at this time of their mourning, regardless of their personal views,” Otte said.

Fellow Kiwi Carol Garden told AFP that “if Charles can continue in the same vein as his mother, then there is no reason for New Zealanders not to respect him or question our allegiance to him as a monarch”.

“There’s something about being at the end of the world and so far away, yet still part of the Commonwealth, which appeals to New Zealanders,” Garden said.

But despite the cordial tone of most, rumblings of dissent crept in.

Australian Greens party leader Adam Bandt sparked anger on Friday when he said ‘now Australia must move on’ with many calling his timing ‘graceless’.

A significant portion of the population supports Australia’s assertion of independence.

A June survey by polling firm Essential found that 44% of Australians were in favor of the country becoming a republic, up from 48% in March.

The poll also found that those aged 18-34 were the most opposed to cutting ties with Australia, with 40% saying they were against the decision.

Rowan Drew, 20, a Sydneysider and monarchist, told AFP another monarch might not have succeeded in keeping Australia under the crown like Elizabeth.

“I don’t know how it will turn out for Charles, but I think being his son it will take him quite far.”

Comments are closed.