Calls intensify for King Charles to be Aus’ last
Calls for Australia to become a republic have intensified following the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday night.
Federal MP for Wentworth and self-identified Republican, Allegra Spender towed the line between respect for the royal family, and speaking about the need to celebrate Australia’s “full identity”.
“Like many people, I watched bits of the event last night with my kids. While I am a republican myself, I appreciate the stability and strength of our democracy, and acknowledge the role that the Royal Family as our Heads of State have played in that,” she shared on her Instagram on Sunday.
“I look forward to building on the institutions of the British, the 65,000 years of continuous culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and our multi-cultural present, to Australia celebrating its full identity.”
The head of the Australian Republic Movement, Craig Foster said he hoped Anthony Albanese would be the “final Prime Minister to have to pledge allegiance to a King”.
“Our Head of State should actually represent us and they should be pledging loyalty to us,” he said on Weekend Today on Sunday.
If Australia were to become a republic, King Charles would be removed as our head of state, however, Australia would still remain in the Commonwealth.
The change would require a referendum to enact constitutional change.
Voters would then go to the ballot box again, in order to elect the head of state.
Mr Foster said support for constitutional independence has “risen markedly” after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September last year. He also acknowledged the impact of colonialism, which couldn’t be ignored during “pomp and ceremony” events like the Coronation.
“There are a lot of aspect of this ceremony as well which are problematic for many people across the Commonwealth and we have to remember that,” he said.
“There is a lot of people across the Commonwealth, First Nations and indigenous people and descend dents of slaves an the like for whom this is actually really painful.
“It also represents a lot of suffering.”
Fronting the national broadcaster’s coverage of the Coronation, ABC presenter Stan Grant also spoke about the struggles faced by Australia’s First Nation’s people, which occurred due to British colonisation.
“We don’t read history in a linear way. History lives in us. It is not referential, it is not footnotes,” he said.
“It is scars, it is broken bones and it is too many damaged souls, and we need to heal and bring love to the hearing.
“This conversation is so important, I am so glad we can have this because it is necessary.”
However, chances of a referendum are slim.
While Prime Minister Anthony Albanese calls himself a “lifelong Republican,” and reaffirmed his stance in a Sky News interview with Piers Morgan earlier this week, and said a referendum was not a priority.
Although he believes Australia will eventually become a republic “at some stage in the future,” his priority will be to incorporate an indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, with a referendum to be held later this year.
“My sole priority that I’ve put forward for constitutional change is to recognise Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people in our Constitution and to listen to them through a Voice,” he said.
“I’m not looking beyond that. I think Australia should have an Australian as a head of state, I don’t shy away from that and I haven’t changed my views but my priority is Constitutional recognition.
“I don’t want to be a prime minister who presides over just constitutional debates.”