Parties Come Together to Support New Push for an Australian Republic
A republic is back on the Federal parliamentary agenda with parliamentarians signing on to support the newly established bipartisan Parliamentary Friendship Group for an Australian Head of State.
The Group will be co-convened by Labor Senator Katy Gallagher and Liberal Member for Mackellar Jason Falinski MP. Its membership includes both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
The establishment of the Group follows Australia Republic Movement (ARM) research in 2016 that found that a majority of parliamentarians in both houses support a republic. Every state premier and territory chief minister has declared their support. Recent public polls show the majority of Australians also back the change.
Labor Co-convenor Senator Katy Gallagher said that the creation of the Group represented a strong step forward towards the realisation of an Australian republic.
"The establishment of this group signals that there is a strong bipartisan push from the Federal Parliament to see this important national reform happen" said Senator Gallagher.
"Public support is now overwhelmingly in favour of a republic and we’re here to represent that in the Federal Parliament. This group will be a vehicle to drive the republic forward in the Parliament and to continue to garner support in the community."
Liberal Co-convenor Jason Falinski MP said that as a long-term supporter of an Australian republic, he’s proud to see the push for an Australian as Head of State reach the next level.
"We are an independent country. We are one community. We come together in victory and in grief, in war and in peace, to argue and to make important decisions. We have built one of the most successful nations on the face of this planet, and our Head of State should be one of us" said Mr Falinski.
The formation of this group shows that there is significant support for this across the political spectrum in Parliament and in the community.
Chair of the Australian Republic Movement Peter FitzSimons thanked Federal parliamentarians for their strong support, and said that it’s a crucial part of making a republic a reality.
"I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, a land that is at last getting itself organised to stand on our own two feet, 'neath the Southern Cross. As one who has just completed a trip over that most sunburnt part, on Wednesday, from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria, it has been fantastic to see how much support for the republic there is out there, including at Birdsville, Bedouri and the Isa!" said Mr FitzSimons.
"We are a hardy, independent minded people, with however, a model of governance that does not reflect that. It is time to get this done, and it is wonderful to be getting such a huge cross-section of support in the community for a republic, and from our parliamentarians. Never before have the stars of the Southern Cross been so aligned."