Australian campaigners are calling for a vote on breaking away from the British monarchy within five years as the country’s federal Treasurer leads a renewed push for a republic.
Peter FitzSimons, the newly appointed chairman of the Australian Republican Movement (Arm), argued for a national plebiscite within five years, to be followed by a constitutional referendum, in a rousing speech in Canberra. FitzSimons said that Joe Hockey, the federal Treasurer, was co-convener of a new parliamentary advocacy group supporting an Australian republic – which will pit him against his Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, once leader of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.
He said a referendum asking for a simple “yes” or “no” about having an Australian head of state would produce a powerful “yes” result.
Recent polling suggests 47 per cent of Australians support replacing the Queen as head of state.
Hockey, who belongs to the ruling Liberal Party, is a long-time member of Arm and supported the failed republican bid in the 1999 referendum.
Acknowledgements: – NZ Herald