With a raucous debate raging around whether Australia should become a republic or stay a monarchy, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has revealed when the nation can seriously have that discussion.
Despite being a republic supporter, after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, Albanese shut down the conversation on leaving the monarchy, saying now is the time for mourning and to show “deep respect and admiration” for the Queen’s service to the country.
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
Speaking on ABC Radio Sydney on Thursday, September 15, the Prime Minister doubled down on closing the debate, saying we need to focus on the constitutional change around the Voice to Parliament.
“The idea that you would have multiple debates at once I think is not feasible,” he said.
“I’ve made it very clear, and I made it clear before the election, what my priority is. Getting constitutional change in this country is very difficult. We know that that’s the case.
“The idea that you would have multiple debates at once is, I think, not feasible.
“If you think about the counterfactual it, to me, is inconceivable, that the next change that we need for our constitution is anything other than recognising that our national birth certificate, which is what the constitution represents, should acknowledge that our history didn’t begin in 1788.
“We’ve had, I think, substantial debate. I’ve put forward a draft of a question, a draft of what the constitutional change might look like, a very simple change, saying that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have a say, at least be able to express an opinion on matters that affect them and that we should recognise Indigenous people in our constitution.
“We should be proud of the fact that we share this continent with the oldest continuous culture on earth, at least 65,000 years of cultural continuance there, and that should be something that needs to be fixed before other matters are debated.”
Recent data published by Roy Morgan following the death of the Queen shows that the majority of Australians want to remain a monarchy.
The poll by the independent researcher found that 60 per cent of Australians are in support of remaining a Monarchy, up 5 per cent since the last poll on the matter in November 2012, while support for a Republic dropped 5 per cent to 40 per cent.
A majority of Australians, 60%, believe Australia should remain a Monarchy while only 40% say Australia should become a Republic with an elected President.#auspol #vicpol #kingcharlesIII #QEII #royalfamily https://t.co/JihTYD94Rf pic.twitter.com/CG3IxSusbM
— Roy Morgan (@RoyMorganAus) September 13, 2022
The increasing support comes after King Charles’ ascension to the throne following the death of his mother on September 8, Queen Elizabeth II.