The British royal family is now preparing for the end of the Queen's reign

Overnight a spokesperson for the UK Prime Minister has confirmed that when the Commonwealth heads of government meet in England later this week they will decide who will be head of the Commonwealth of Nations after the present Queen.

The 53 Commonwealth nations - including 32 Commonwealth republics - are about to make a democratic decision about their next head.  That is a good thing, and their democratic decision should be respected.  The position for Australians is the opposite.

It is a disgraceful fact that without constitutional change the citizens of Australia will not even be consulted on our next head of state. One morning we will simply wake up to hear news from England that will change our country for decades to come. This cannot stand.

If CHOGM is discussing succession - and if the British Royal Family itself is prepared to make arrangements for after the Queen's reign - Australia should certainly do the same.  

We should decide. 

Australia should have a national vote on whether we have an Australian as our head of state, and whether our head of state should be elected by the people or by the Parliament, in 2020.  A referendum should follow to put this in place by 2022.

But even for those who think Australia should be a republic after the Queen's reign ends, that means starting preparation today.

Sandy Biar