Turnbull has majority Parliamentary backing for a republic
The Australian Republican Movement (ARM) received a significant boost today with confirmation that a majority of Federal Parliamentarians – in both houses – support Australia becoming a republic.
The announcement comes on the eve of the ARM’s 25th anniversary dinner. The dinner will be addressed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, himself a former chair of the Movement.
Joining the Prime Minister in supporting an Australian head of state are several prominent members of the Government including Julie Bishop, Josh Frydenberg, Christopher Pyne, Marise Payne, Simon Birmingham and George Christensen – the latter “subject to the right model being chosen.”
In total, 81 members of the House of Representatives, and 40 members of the Senate have declared their support for an Australian republic (either through direct response to the ARM, the public record, or membership of the Movement).
An additional 58 members of the House of Representatives and 21 Senators are either undecided or undeclared on the issue. Just 11 MPs and 15 Senators are known to be against the move.
Republican support climbs to 86 and 42 respectively if all ALP parliamentarians are counted (an Australian republic is binding policy for Labor).
This latest news bolsters the bipartisan support for a republic that already exists between the PM and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. It also follows on from the revelation earlier this year that all Australian Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers back the move as does a majority of the public.
National Chair of the Australian Republican Movement Peter FitzSimons said that the time was right for the Prime Minister to lead from the front on the question of an Australian head of state.
“Malcolm Turnbull has a unique chance to put the republican cause firmly back at the centre of the national agenda” said FitzSimons. “The majority of the public want it. Every Premier and Chief Minister wants it. Now it turns out that our federal representatives agree as well.”
Government backbencher George Christensen backed this call stating “a renewed push for an Australian republic gives hope not only of having someone who is Australian and not subject to any foreign power as our head of state, but also that we can reform government to make it more representative and responsive to the needs and desires of the Australian people.”