“Huge push” for Australian republic underway in 2020

“Huge push” for Australian republic underway in 2020

Two decades since the defeat of the 1999 referendum to determine whether Australia should sever ties with Britain, the push for a republic still rages.

At the time, the ACT was the only jurisdiction to support a republic, with just 45 per cent of the nation voting to remove the Queen as the head of state.

20 years later, the republicans are convinced they have the majority vote.

Certainly had Labor won the federal election in May, Australia would be going to the polls to find out – as per their election promise.

One would think the republicans would be stymied given current Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a self-declared "proud constitutional monarchist".

But chair of the Australian Republic Movement, Peter FitzSimons, says momentum for an Australian republic is stronger than ever. 

Had the election gone the other way, we may have seen a vote on a republic sooner rather than later, but the important conversation about why we need an Australian as our head of state is just as needed, just as urgent, and we're building up towards a huge push in 2020.

FitzSimons says it is not the case that another referendum won’t be held until the Queen passes.   

"Tens of thousands of Australians from across the country have registered their support for the campaign.  A new generation of Australians is taking the lead.

A poll earlier this year found that 57 per cent of under 25 year olds back a republic, and only one in seven now opposed."

According to FitzSimons, the republican movement has high levels of parliamentary support also.

"Almost 60 per cent support in both houses of Parliament, all Labor members, all Green members and twice as many Liberals in support as opposed," he said.

"Less than 10 per cent of parliamentarians back having the British Queen as our head of state."

Former prime minister John Howard expressed his disagreement.

"There's absolutely no groundswell of support for a change. The Queen is enjoying enormous respect."

While we hope Mr Howard on the money, all monarchists best gear up for FitzSimons’ promised fight in 2020.