Towards a republic | Australian Greens

Towards a republic

There’s never been a better time for Australia to become a republic — a modern, independent nation.

Currently, Australia’s head of state is inherited from overseas and is determined by birth rather than merit. But with all three federal political leaders in favour of a republic, and with the state and territory leaders declaring their support, there’s more momentum for a republic than ever before.

A confident Australia does not need to cling to the reigning British monarch as our head of state or wait for the Queen to depart before finally embracing a republic. Australian children born today should have the opportunity to hold this position in the future.

What's the hold-up?

Malcolm Turnbull is currently beholden to the monarchists within his party who support the status quo and has — to date — shied away from articulating a timetable for Australia becoming a republic.

He was the head of the Australian Republican Movement before becoming Prime Minister, so it’s time for him to show leadership on the issue, rather than just abolishing knights and dames.

The last thing we need is a leader who believes one thing and does another — or worse, lacks the courage to do anything at all. The Greens have a vision to move Australia towards a republic that Australians can be proud of.

Path to success

The Greens first called for a simple ‘Yes or No’ vote on Australia becoming a republic back in 1998 and a key recommendation from the 2020 Summit was to hold a plebiscite within two years on whether Australia should become a republic or not.

A threshold question asking whether we should become a republic will allow Australians to indicate their support for a republic before voting on any specific republican model. If there is not majority support for a republic, the question is decided clearly and without confusion.

If the majority supports Australia becoming a republic, the specific details of the model to be voted on can be worked out in a context of that certainty.

To ensure that the views of the community are adequately reflected in any proposed model, and to build on the current momentum of the republican movement, the Greens plan to fund a consultative, democratic process involving everyday Australians and organisations from around the country.

This process would commence at the beginning of 2017 and culminate in a referendum on the proposal for constitutional change being held at the 2019 election.

Download the plan