Republic campaign welcomes Labor’s leadership on republic

Fairfax mastheads today report that the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has agreed to funding during the next term of Parliament for a national vote on an Australian republic. We welcome Labor’s leadership.

Australia’s next head of state should be a citizen of Australia, chosen by Australians. But without change, no Australian will even be asked, and King Charles will be Australia’s next head of state. So today’s announcement is a huge step forward for Australia.

The best way now would be for the national vote also to include a question about how our head of state should be chosen. That essential decision, for a model of popular or parliamentary election, should be put to every Australian in a national vote. The result should have the authority of all Australians and should direct the development of the detailed constitutional changes to be put to referendum by 2022.

We are delighted the Opposition does not propose any funding for official campaigns for or against the change. When monarchists asked for public advertising campaigns on the issue in January this year we opposed this (see Republic Movement says no to more taxpayer funded ads) and we renew that position today.

The campaign for an Australian republic is at its strongest when its leadership is bipartisan and its politics inclusive. We hope the Government makes the same commitment so all Australians can have their say.

Republic supporters in the Coalition parties have a wonderful opportunity to offer unifying vision and purpose by offering a positive response.

Zoe Bowman