Australia step closer to replacing Queen as it appoints ‘minister for republic’

Australia's newly elected leader Anthony Albanese has sparked debate over a referendum on whether the Queen should be replaced

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The new centre-Left Labor Prime Minister of Australia has sparked outrage over insinuating towards plans of replacing the Queen as head of state.

Anthony Albanese, who became the 31st Prime Minister of Australia earlier this month, took steps towards actioning a vote, two days before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin.

Sydney MP, Matt Thistlethwaite, is set to take take on the position, which was welcomed by the Australian Republic Movement.

Peter FitzSimmons, the renowned republican, author and former rugby international exclaimed "we are on our way" upon hearing the news.

Anthony Albanese, leader of Australia's Labor Party, is set to persue a referendum on whether the country should keep the Queen as their head of state
Anthony Albanese, leader of Australia's Labor Party, is set to persue a referendum on whether the country should keep the Queen as their head of state

He added: "Let the record show, for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, Australia has a member of the government singularly devoted to removing the crown, and helping Australia become a republic".

Australian Labor leaders have insinuated towards the change in the past, promising a referendum on removing the Queen as the head of state. The current Prime Minister has been quoted previously stating the change was "inevitable".

Half of Australians voted against the country becoming a republic in a referendum in 1999. The victory was a result of a disagreement over a proposal that the Queen's replacement would be elected in parliament and not by the public.

The Queen could be ousted from her role of Head of State of Australia if the referendum proceeds.
The Queen could be ousted from her role of Head of State of Australia if the referendum proceeds.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Albanese said that his party had secured enough votes in the May 21 election to proceed with governing the country, without the support of minor parties and independents. The new parliament will open on 26 July.

A referendum on the republic is not expected to take place until the national plebiscite on giving Aboriginal Australians an institutional role in policy making happens.

A Vote Compass poll conducted on behalf of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this year, showed a small increase in support for the decision to make the county a republic since the elections in 2019.

Around 43 percent of Australians believed the relationship with the monarchy should be cut, with the same poll noting that a slim majority of the country opposed Prince Charles becoming king when Queen Elizabeth II dies.

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who stepped down following defeat in the election said last year that he supported the monarchy, after there was increased demand to abolish it following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey.