Australian Anti-Monarchists use Queen's death as a political platform

Republican movement believes Queen Elizabeth II's death will usher in a new era of Australian independence and is wasting no time in calling for change

Australian Anti-Monarchists use Queen's death as a political platform
Republic movement leader Peter FitzSimons and Greens leader Adam Bandt
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Anti-Monarchists have wasted no time in calling for national change following the death of HRH Queen Elizabeth II

As the nation mourns the loss of its beloved Commonwealth Head of State, progressive politicians, journalists and others used Her Majesty's death as an opportunity to project their own vision for a new Australia.

Greens leader Adam Bandt was slammed on social media after he tweeted "Our thoughts are with her family and all who loved her" before adding "Now Australia must move forward. We need Treaty with First Nations people, and we need to become a Republic".

Social media commenters blasted Bandt's insensitive take, with the majority asking the politician why he felt the need to make the comments so soon after the Queen's death.

The head of the Australian Republic Moment, left-wing journalist Peter FitzSimons released a statement just 24 minutes after the Queen's death was announced, paying tribute to the Royal's 70-year reign before adding that 'Queen Elizabeth respected the self-determination of the Australian people'.

"During her reign the Australia Act 1986 was passed eliminating many of the remaining opportunities for UK interference in Australian government. Appeals from Australian courts to British courts were abolished," the statement read.

Australians voted to stay in the Commonwealth at a republic referendum in 1999, lead by a Republican campaign from future PM Malcolm Turnbull with the plan failing to garner majority support in any state.

However unlike FitzSimons and Bandt, Turnbull today refrained from grandstanding about a republic in the wake of the Queen's death, simply writing: 

"Today we are united in grief as we mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth. Her long life of service inspired the whole world and was a calm and gracious presence through seven decades of turbulence and change. Farewell Your Majesty. Rest In Peace."

FitzSimons has previously indicated that the Queen's death will signal a fresh opportunity to push for Australia to hold another republic referendum.

"A phenomenal number of people have said to me over the years, 'I'm absolutely with you, but not until the Queen passes away'. And I expect now there will be a surge of interest, of membership, of donations," Mr FitzSimons reportedly said.

"With the greatest respect to Charles III - and I mean that; I have nothing against him personally - he does not enjoy the same deep wellspring of affection and loyalty that Her Majesty did.

"It's 230-odd years since colonisation and over 120 years since federation. It has to be time we run our own show beneath the Southern Cross."

Bandt has previously caused a stir by refusing to stand in front of the Australian flag with its Union Jack behind him at press conferences.


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  • By Avi Yemini

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