Former foreign minister Julie Bishop has declined an advocacy role at the Australian Republic Movement (ARM).
The well-known supporter of an Australian republic passed on the opportunity to play public champion, preferring instead to seek opportunities in the private sector.
With the republic movement’s campaign plans sorely deflated post Scott Morrison’s comprehensive election victory, Bishop’s reject role has now been assumed by former NSW Liberal Party election consultant Sandy Biar.
Labor republic spokesman Matt Thistlethwaite said Labor remained committed to a plebiscite to test public support for the issue.
So ARM’s job is straight forward: to push Coalition MPs into backing a referendum.
But as far as Coalition MPs go, even Liberal supporters of a republic, Trent Zimmerman and Andrew Bragg, have slammed the proposal for a directly elected head of state, declaring they would vote against the model if it went to a referendum.
Zimmerman was emphatic: “I would only support a minimalist republican model and that does not include a directly elected president.”
Needless to say, we’ll be watching this space with interest, poised toact in defence of Australia’s future.