The Australian Republic Movement welcomes Prince Charles to Australia for the Commonwealth Games.
The Games are a wonderful institution and the Commonwealth of Nations is a force for good in the world. It has long outgrown its origins as a colonial club. Two of its newest members, Rwanda and Mozambique, have no historical connection to Britain at all. Only 16 of the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth still have the British Monarch as their head of state: almost two-thirds are republics, including Gambia who rejoined in February this year.
Athletes from some of the world's greatest republics - nations like India, South Africa and Singapore - will compete on the Gold Coast. We welcome them especially; their friendly participation is a window into Australia's future as a truly independent nation joined to the Commonwealth by ties of friendship, not hereditary privilege.
The Republic campaign has previously invited the Prince to use this visit to speak to Australians about why he believes he should be Australia's head of state. While the Prince has replied through officials indicating he is not available, the invitation remains open. We believe Australians deserve to know why Prince Charles wants the job and what he wants to do with it.
Australians also deserve to know how much the Prince's visit will cost us all.
Seven years ago the Queen and her husband visited and this cost Australians more than $2.6 million. What will this month's visit cost? How much will we pay for the military plane which will fly the Prince and his wife from Singapore to Brisbane? Will we also pay to fly the Prince's wife home early while his visit continues? Is it true Australians are also paying for the Prince to visit Vanuatu from Australia? Why is this - and at what cost? What is the cost to State and local governments of extra policing and other local arrangements?
These are questions for the Australian Government - and they provoke questions for monarchists, who frequently cite cost as an objection to Australia having an Australian as our head of state.