Australia

Albanese’s big call on Australia becoming a republic

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has ruled out holding a referendum on Australia becoming a republic during his first term.

Queens Elizabeth’s death has reignited debate about whether Australia should move away from the monarchy.

King Charles III was on Sunday proclaimed Australia’s head of state during a ceremony outside Parliament House in Canberra.

Mr Albanese has previously said he supports Australia becoming a republic but said questions about the constitution were for another time.

Asked by Sky News UK to confirm if there would be no referendum in his first term, Albanese said: “No.”

Mr Albanese has announced that Australians will be given a public holiday on September 22 to pay respects to the Queen.

Asked about the Queen’s death having reignited debate about the possibility of Australia becoming a republic, he said: “Now is the time for us to pay tribute to the life of Queen Elizabeth II to give thanks for her service to Australia to the Commonwealth into the world. And that is the focus that I have.”

Australia held a referendum on becoming a republic in November 1999, which was defeated after 45.13 per cent of people supported replacing the Queen as Australia’s head of state with a president.

Mr Albanese reinforced his view that the monarchy needed to “evolve”

But he hosed down suggestions another referendum on the republic was forthcoming.

“The bigger questions about our constitution are not ones for this current period,” he said.

“This is the period in which we are showing the grief that so many Australians are feeling at the moment, showing our deep respect and admiration for the contribution of the Queen to Australia.”

He paid tribute to the Queen, saying she had a deep affinity with Australia during her “extraordinary life”.

“This is a land of cyclones and floods of natural disasters,” Mr Albanese said.

“And Queen Elizabeth always reached out to give that comfort to Australians and she was such a respected figure regardless of where people stand on the political spectrum.

“That 70 years of public service, that devotion to duty is something that holds her in such high regard.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseQueen Elizabeth II

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