Hockey and Shorten agree: time for a republic? 375



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Joe Hockey made headlines yesterday, but it wasn’t his performance at the National Reform Summit, it was the announcement that he was leading a renewed push for Australia to become a republic.

Mr Hockey’s friend Peter FitzSimons told the National Press Club that the treasurer and Labor senator Katy Gallagher are forming a Parliamentary Friendship Group to revive debate about the issue, which has been effectively dormant since the failed 1999 referendum.

It’s a surprising move, considering Mr Hockey’s boss is an adamant monarchist. What’s more surprising is the crossbench support. Even Bill Shorten agrees with Mr Hockey, tweeting his approval:

The timing of the announcement has been questioned. The Deputy Prime Minister suggested Hockey’s mind should be on the job at hand – reforming the economy – rather than launching the republican debate.

Warren Truss said, “We’ve got important issues to deal with, like the economy and managing difficult international issues, the security of this country. I think those are the sorts of things Ill be giving my priority to.”

It’s also an interesting time to be launching the debate considering we are just weeks away from an historic milestone: on September 9, the Queen becomes the longest-serving monarch, beating her grandmother’s record.

An Essential Media survey found 47 per cent of Australians support replacing the British monarch with an Australian head of state, with 24 per cent undecided, and only 29 per cent opposed

Some 57 per cent of Australians support holding a 2020 national vote on having an Australian head of state, as proposed by Mr Hockey, the survey found.

But the most important question remains: who would be head of state in Australia i f the monarchy were removed? Is Australia strong enough to go it alone?

Tell us: do you support Joe Hockey’s push for a republic? And do you think his timing is off? 


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  1. I am all for Republic but I distrust Hockey’s motivation I suspect this may be a vote buying ploy

  2. I support a Republic but I doubt Abbott will allow it, one Abbott’s Captains pick was bringing back Knight and Dames. It is time Australia grew up and stood alone

    9 REPLY
    • no Artur I would not like that at all but I am assuming we would vote for a President, we have no detail as to what it would entail yet and I would not be voting for Abbott

    • The horror of the possibility of a “celebrity” being elected as “President” still haunts me after the 1999 referendum! Think of the USA ..Ronald Reagan. And now Donald Trump! I,ll stick with the Queen until our lot of politicians grow up..or get some brains!

      1 REPLY
      • I doubt that the politicians will ever morph into a grown up state no matter which party they represent. The majority of them are all self serving.

    • I respect your view Kathleen Watkins even though I disagree but I would not get worried about it, I can’t see this heading anywhere at this point in time

    • United we stand, divided we fall. Standing alone seldom defeats bullies. If it did, we wouldn’t have to put our young in the Middle East to crush the bullies

    • Am unsure what your aiming at there Jean Phillips sorry , this is a divisive issue and one Australians should vote on, we all have an opinion and should voice it

  3. Joe you’ll upset our English PM. And you’ll find yourself out of a job, if you say we should be a republic.

  4. Hey wait a minute – Australia becoming a Republic does not mean we are a thankless lot. It means we need not be beholden to UK (and stand on our own feet thank you very much) – they could not care less anyway.

  5. Why should I be grateful to the British Royals who don’t live here and when they come here for a little holiday they cost taxpayers a small fortune ?..bring on a Republic

  6. Rubbish, we do not need to become a Republic in any way shape or form. Why fix something that isn’t broken. We can not do things right now how will we after this. No way. What do you think will change and WHY do we have to as you all say STAND ALONE.

    22 REPLY
    • My family came here as convicts, you explain to me why my family should be grateful that 2 of my relatives were forced here as slave labor in chains to work for 7 years by the British? I am an Australian,cemetery the is full of generations of my relatives, I am NOT under any obligation to the Royals

    • Australia is multi culteral now, many people who come here have no conection at all with The Royal Family

    • Gee my family came here the same way, and I am great full they did because if they didn’t then I would not be an Australian and live in the best country in the world. It was nothing to do with the present Royal Family. I am extremely proud of what the Royal Family have bought to this country and I hope what they will in years to come. If it hadn’t been for the British sending people here we would not be here, simple as that.

    • You don’t know where any of us would be Judith Forbes, you don’t have a crystal ball, I support a Republic

    • It means Judith Forbes if it goes to a referndum, they people who came here who do not British Ancestory, will most likely vote for republic, my family came here from Britian in the 1800’s I will be voting for Republic, Australia is my home

    • Sue Todd, they have generated millions of dollars in tourism, they are our Royal Family they do not have to do anything. I was surmising if you know what that means Rozzy Battles. I am sure a lot of people that come from other countries will not vote for a Republic David James. I do not want a Republic and I will not support it.

    • Give me reasons Why it would be better for us to be a Republic, what will change, what will it achieve that we do not have now, what will we gain????

    • Last year the surge for the Monarchy was unprecedented & now with 2 Children William & Kate are much more popular

    • They might have generated millions of dollars in tourism in the UK, but not here. Any dollars generated when they come here is offset by what they cost us while they’re here Your comment to Rozzy was very rude and condescending too, if you know what that means

    • Kay Everett you think it will, we will just have to see won’t we. They do here everytime they visit, look at the statistics. Well it wasn’t to you Sue Todd so why are you commenting about it. Still no-one has given me any reason why it should happen.

    • Victoria Alexandra D’Arienzo I am not sure what you are asking, I never said they did have anything to do with it…..they are our Royal Family always have been and I hope always will be. You may have read my comment wrong.

    • LOL, since you mentioned my name I assumed it was directed to me. Jeez!! It should happen because we now run our own country with our own government. The Royal family are irrelevant in our every day lives. I quite like the Queen and Harry, I just don’t think they should be our head of state

    • We have ran our own country with our own government for as long as the Queen has reigned over us…..

    • Judith Forbes , I’ve just re-read your earlier comment …… it reads – I’m extremely proud of what the royal family have brought to this country. With your surname I’m surprised that you’re a royalist :/

    • I do not care what the Queen has said. We have not had guidance to set up government for over a century. They have bought a lot to this country in their kids and grand kids and now great grand kids. They have bought us much in money through tourism, and in sight to their lives, I love the Royal Family….I also do not live in the past, my name has nothing to do with it. Things that happened in the past is just that past, we have to get ourselves out of it it as that is what it was and now things are different.

  7. Its way overtime for a republic. Start with our own flag first.

    12 REPLY
    • We have a flag thanks. One that our soldiers have fought under. I don’t want it changed, although I do support us becoming a Republic

    • Our soldiers fought under the UJ as well, should we change it to that?? Nah, a total new flag without another countries flag in the corner is what we need. Hope it happens in my lifetime.

    • I see, so that makes it different some how. Each to their own I suppose, but for me, I cant wait to see a flag void of the UJ.

    • Sue I don’t think it would bother deceases solders one way or the other if our flag is changed. In fact, I’m sure most of them would welcome a republic. We have to move forward and not live in the past.

    • I’ve already said I support a Republic, but not changing the flag
      Wayne, I can only talk about my family, or would you like me to talk for you too? That was a pedantic, pathetic comment

    • Oh, I thought you were. My mistake. To me, using the “fought and died” line is pathetic also. Many many many countries fought under different flags during the countless wars we’ve had to endure, changing it dosent seem to have changed anything, except maybe their pride.

  8. probably important but feel they bring these issues up to divert our attention from real problems,shouldnt we be concentrating on more important problems right now like unemployment,hospital bed shortage etc,smoke and mirrors only work for so long

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with you Gina. One minute we are being ambushed about gay marriage and now the Republic. What about the real issues. Neither party is doing a great job from what I see and read.

  9. His fearless leader won’t be happy, lol. Maybe if Tones gave Cockey a knighthood he’d back off

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