Republican Bid Gets Major Boost

25/01/2016 12:42 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
Fairfax

Monarchists have dismissed a declaration a calling for an Australian head of state and signed by all but one state or territory leader, in a move being hailed by Republican as "the dawn of a new republican age".

WA premier Colin Barnett was the only state or territory leader not to sign the document, which says: "We, the undersigned premiers and chief ministers of Australia, believe that Australians should have an Australian as our head of state."

A petition calling for a republic on Change.org, posted by Australian Republican Movement chair Peter FitzSimons on Friday, garnered a little over 5200 signatures by Monday morning.

Australian Monarchist League spokeswoman Gabrielle Hendry said the majority of Australians were opposed to becoming a republic.

"I have seen petitions like keeping kebab shops open past midnight which have garnered 25,000 signatures in a few days," she told the ABC.

She said the Queen served as a safeguard against political overreach.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said he was hopeful the united front presented by state leaders for the republic would lead to broader support.

"If you think about it, what are we waiting for, are we waiting for her [the Queen] to die," he told the ABC.

"I mean, it's a rather peculiar way of looking at the world. I would have thought that it's much more respectful to have her supervise this transition.

The ABC reports Dr Barnett released statement saying while he believes in and hopes Australia becomes a republic, he doesn't believe enough time has passed since the rejected 1999 republican referendum.

FitzSimons said the declaration and petition was timed for tomorrow's Australia Day.

"It is time to get moving, and I must say I was thrilled by how enthusiastic the premiers were," FitzSimons told the ABC.

"All of Australia's political leaders now support an Australian head of state, including [Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull and [Opposition Leader] Bill Shorten.

"Never before have the stars of the Southern Cross been so aligned in pointing to the dawn of a new republican age for Australia."

More On This Topic

Advertisement
Advertisement