Australia’s Deputy First Minister for the Republic has admitted that “now is not the right time” to discuss severing ties with the monarchy.
Following Indigenous Voice’s landslide referendum to Parliament on October 14, Matt Thistlethwaite said it would “certainly” be harder to convince the Australian public to support another constitutional change.
But that doesn’t mean their role is now null and void.
Thistlethwaite said Labor “has a long-term vision for Australia as a mature, independent nation” and still has ambitions for the country to sever ties with King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
But he said: ‘It is on our platform that we begin a discussion with the Australian people about having one of our own as our head of state at some point in the future.
“Now is not the right time for that.”
Thistlethwaite said Labor “has a long-term vision for Australia as a mature, independent nation” and remains committed to republican ambitions.
While the prime minister hopes Australia will one day become a republic, he pledged loyalty to the king.
In the long term, the Albanian government’s plans remain the same: “to start a conversation with the Australian people about our independence and maturity.” This includes electing or electing our own head of state.
And Thistlethwaite argued that this should not be a completely unknown or unexpected change for the nation, given that “we are no longer British subjects, we no longer have British passports, we no longer have God Save the King as our national anthem.” ‘.
“We are Australians now and we govern ourselves and we make our own decisions and we do it well.”
Like senior Labor ministers, Thistlethwaite said the cost of living crisis and easing pressure on Australian households remains the government’s top priority.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has never shied away from his desire to see Australia break away from the monarchy and become a republic.
He signaled those intentions when he created the position of Deputy Minister of the Republic for Thistlethwaite following his election in 2022.
Albanese swore allegiance to King Charles at his coronation in May following the queen’s death and, despite being a “lifelong republican”, insisted he has “great respect” for the king.
Many supporters of the movement had long believed that the Queen’s death would be the catalyst for Australia to seriously consider moving away from the monarchy.
But Albanese swore allegiance to King Charles at his coronation in May following the queen’s death and, despite being a “lifelong republican”, insisted he has “great respect” for the king.
And he assured the public both in Australia and abroad that a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic is out of the question in the near future.
“What I don’t want is to be a prime minister presiding over fair constitutional debates,” he said at the time.
Hopes for a republican referendum were dimmed after the crushing defeat on October 14, when more than nine million Australians voted against dedicating a Voice to Parliament.
All states and the Northern Territory rejected the proposal. The Australian Capital Territory was the only Yes jurisdiction in the country.
And while support for a republic has fluctuated over the decades, there will be a strong No campaign opposing the proposal.
The lack of bipartisan support and effective campaigning by the No side helped bring down the Voice to Parliament, raising questions about whether the Prime Minister would be willing to follow the same path for a republican referendum.