… STATEMENT FROM THE AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC MOVEMENT
The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet Queen Elizabeth II in London on 8 July.
The Prime Minister is being encouraged, by the Australian Republic Movement, to reassure the Queen that Australia will remain in the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Prime Minister should make clear that Australia will still be a Commonwealth country if Australians vote to become a republic at some future date – whether during the Queen’s reign or after it.
He should then make this reassurance public to all Australians.
This is important because the Queen is not only Australia’s head of state, she is the head of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The PM has a unique chance this weekend to state clearly Australia will remain a Commonwealth country long after her reign ends and whatever the outcome of a republic vote.
When the Commonwealth Games comes to Queensland in 2018, there will be more than thirty republics competing – from India and South Africa to Singapore and Samoa.
And if Australians vote for an Australian head of state, our athletes will still be there in 2022 and 2026 and long after, competing against our friends from around the world. Our place in the Commonwealth will not change.
The Australian Republic Movement wants a national vote in 2020 for Australians to say whether we want an Australian head of state and how an Australian head of state should be chosen.
This should be followed by a full referendum in 2022 to put the necessary constitutional changes to the people for their approval.
Australians should decide our own national future, in our own time.
Michael Cooney, National Director and CEO, Australian Republic Movement