‘Volcanic’: Evidence of Queen’s involvement in the 1975 dismissal uncovered

Representatives of the British government flew to Australia in the lead-up to the 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam government to meet with the then governor-general, casting further doubt on the accepted narrative that London officials did not play an active role in Australia’s most significant constitutional crisis. Historian Jenny Hocking discovered files in the British archives showing Sir Michael Palliser, the newly appointed permanent under-secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, arrived in Canberra a month before the dismissal and … Continue Reading

An Australian republic ‘could benefit Aborigines’

A leading Australian academic and Aboriginal activist has supported a renewed campaign for Australia to become a republic if it recognises the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander citizens and gives them more political representation. Professor Jakelin Troy, the director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research at the University of Sydney, said she “absolutely” supported the notion of Australia becoming a republic but that any new system of governance should correctly recognise that Aboriginal Australians initially owned the … Continue Reading

‘We want a republic’: Australia’s states and territory leaders are united

State and territory leaders unanimously back Australia becoming a republic, meaning there is total support across the top two tiers of government for an Australian head of state. However, division remains over when the switch should be made, even as the push grows for the process to start in 2020. As part of a campaign by the Australian Republican Movement, seven of the eight leaders signed a declaration supporting the end of the constitutional monarchy. The declaration posed the simple … Continue Reading

Bill Shorten says the republic debate can’t wait for the Queen

Labor leader Bill Shorten has urged the Prime Minister to break the shackles of monarchists in his government and lead the push for Australia to become a republic. The call comes after all of the state and territory leaders expressed support for a republic amid a push for a plebiscite for an Australian head of state by 2020.   Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to work together with him on an Australian republic. Mr Shorten … Continue Reading

Long live King Charles? An Australian republic is in Turnbull’s hands for now

The first time a British royal came to visit Australia he was shot. Prince Alfred survived the assassination attempt in 1868 and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital was named in his honour. It was an inauspicious beginning to royal tours of Australia but a century and a half later the nation is still constitutionally wedded to the British monarchy. Prince Charles – the future King of Australia – finished, on Sunday, his 15th visit to the country. While there have been … Continue Reading

A royal reminder of The Dismissal’s impact

The timing of Prince Charles and Camilla’s visit to Australia was perhaps unfortunate. Just as some were applauding the royalty, others were remembering the vice-regal sacking of our PM 40 years earlier, writes Mungo MacCallum. Charles and Camilla wafted into Australia last week, to be greeted by rapturous applause by the usual suspects. As the ageing heir and his second wife preened and postured for the well-drilled spectators the royalists gushed, led by their self-appointed leader David Flint – a … Continue Reading

A Message from the Chair of the ARM – Peter FitzSimons

From Peter FitzSimons – Chair Australian Republican Movement As you may know as a progressive Australian, I have taken over as Chair of the Australian Republican Movement. I recently did a speech on the Republic to the National Press Club, which sets out our position: http://goo.gl/YBk4oF If you don’t have time to watch it, here is a transcript of that speech: http://goo.gl/Vfs5vq While we have received a lot of good will since, we need more than that. We need membership. … Continue Reading

What might The Dismissal’s legacy mean for an Australian republic push?

On November 11, 1975, the governor-general, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the Labor government of Gough Whitlam. The government had been unable to get its budget through the Senate, in which it lacked a majority. New revelations surrounding the lead-up to the Whitlam government’s dismissal in 1975 emphasise the ongoing significance of the events of four decades ago to politics today. But is The Dismissal a moment that will become even more significant if the push for Australia to become a … Continue Reading

Australia PM scraps knighthood honours, shows republican colours

Australia’s pro-republic Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday scrapped knights and dames from the nation’s honours system, less than a year after a furore sparked by the award of a knighthood to Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a staunch monarchist, reintroduced the antiquated honours in 2014, provoking criticism that he was out of touch with public sentiment. Abbott was ousted by Turnbull in a party coup in September. The politically disastrous decision to give Prince … Continue Reading

Royal succession laws changed as republic debate hits parliament again

THE republic debate returned to parliament today when Labor snuck in a plea for an Australian president while backing legislation giving women rights to royal succession. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten used discussion of anachronistic laws dictating who can become monarch to call for constitutional change — and to niggle Liberals on their own succession moves. Australia is one of 16 “reals” in the Commonwealth whose governments have to agree to changing the succession laws so an older sister can take … Continue Reading