Almost all of Australia’s state and territory leaders have called for a new Australian head of state as part of the country’s Republic movement.
The proposed plans are to remove The Queen as monarch, and replace her with a new head of state for the country; a move backed by all of the political leaders.
The only leader who refused to sign the declaration, which has been prepared by the republican movement, was Western Australian premier Colin Barnatt. However, although he didn’t sign the declaration, he says that he generally supports the move.
He said: “It is a matter of public record that I personally support Australia becoming a republic.”
This is a further blow to the monarchy’s presence in Australia, with a wave of controversies in recent times and the growing republicanism traits within the country’s politicians.
All of Australia’s political leaders, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten, support the move for a republic state.
17 years ago in 1999, a referendum was held on the future of the monarchy, in which 55% of Australians voted in favour keeping the Queen as monarch, opposed to 45% who voted for parliament to elect a head of state.
Despite the political support for the move, David Flint, leader of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, says there is a lack of support within the general public for an elected head of state.
Some republicans have suggested that Australia should become a republic after the Queen dies. However, this contradicts previous claims by PM Malcolm Turnbull that the Prince of Wales will probably become King of Australia.
Mr Turnbull has already abolished awarding knight and damehoods in the country since coming into power last September. He described the titles as being “not appropriate” in modern-day Australia.
The decision to axe the honours in the country came after former PM Tony Abbott controversially awarded the Duke of Edinburgh a knighthood in January 2015. Many cite this as the reason for Mr Abbott’s fall from power.
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