Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has shut down “disgraceful” and “disrespectful” calls for Australia to become a republic following Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 8.
Despite being a supporter of the nation becoming a republic, having appointed Matt Thistlethwaite as Assistant Minister for the Republic, Albanese told Sky News now is not the time for a discussion on the referendum.
The Prime Minister reiterated that now is a time for mourning and to show “deep respect and admiration” for the Queen’s service to the country.
“Her Majesty was the only reigning monarch to ever visit Australia and it was clear from her first trip that she had a special place in our hearts,” Albanese said in a statement.
“Over the coming weeks, Australia will continue to commemorate our late Queen.
“I encourage all Australians, wherever you may be, to take time to pause and reflect on Her Majesty’s extraordinary life of service.”
There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
This morning I laid a wreath at Parliament House to mourn the enormous loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. pic.twitter.com/YqOWGKjK3q
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) September 10, 2022
Greens Leader Adam Bandt wasted no time in leading the calls for Australia to leave the Commonwealth, taking to Twitter on September 9, the morning after the Monarch’s death, to call for the country to “move forward”.
Rest In Peace Queen Elizabeth II.
Our thoughts are with her family and all who loved her.
Now Australia must move forward.
We need Treaty with First Nations people, and we need to become a Republic.
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) September 8, 2022
Bandt was met with immediate backlash, with even supporters of his cause slamming him for his “insensitive” call.
Can you believe this!?! Utterly disgraceful
— Dean Ritchie (@BulldogRitchie) September 8, 2022
You truly are a disgrace @AdamBandt. Could you not wait even 24hrs before you politicesed the death of the longest reigning Monarch? I’m all for a republic but seriously?
— 95markr (@95markr) September 8, 2022
Today is not the day to have that discussion. Highly insensitive and disrespectful. Have some decency please.
— Marie Trevithick (@maztrev18) September 8, 2022
Chair of the Australian Republic Movement (ARM) Peter FitzSimons reiterated the fact that now is the time for a “respectful silence”.
For the moment, Norman, what happens now is keeping respectful silence. Apart from quotes provided in case of her death, our only statement was the one acknowledging Her Majesty’s contribution to Australia for over 70 years.
There will be much to say, but now not time to say it. https://t.co/LJx3NHnTPZ
— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) September 9, 2022
The ARM released an official statement on the passing of the Queen, noting her “reign was unrivalled”.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Queen Elizabeth’s passing and express deep gratitude and thanks for her service to the Commonwealth,” FitzSimons said.
“During her reign, Australia has grown into a mature and independent nation. It is unlikely we will ever see a Monarch as respected or admired by the Australian people again.”
Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.