The Australian republican movement has whipped out the tongs in a series of nationwide BBQs for their biggest day of action since the 1999 referendum.
Labor spokesman for an Australian head of state, Matt Thistlethwaite, said the series of community catch-ups across every state and territory were designed to “fire up” a conversation towards constitutional change.
“Thousands of locals are chewing the fat about an Aussie head of state,” Mr Thistlethwaite said in a statement on Saturday.
“In backyards, local parks, pubs and shopping malls we will be discussing how we can work together to achieve this important, positive constitutional reform.”
Australians voted against replacing the Queen for an Australian head of state in a 1999 referendum, amid division over technical details.
It’s cool to see that there’s momentum building for an #ausrepublic – we should absolutely be free of the monarchy. But not before we reach a treaty with this country’s first peoples and owners. We can’t establish a legitimate republic without treaty.
One of the leaders of that failed republican campaign was now-deposed prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has since pledged a future Labor government will put the question to the Australian people again within its first term of office.
The revised question will be simply: Do you support an Australian republic with an Australian head of state?
Mr Thistlethwaite said much had changed since 1999.
There are now almost four million more people on the electoral roll compared to then, including new generations who will now be able to vote for the first time.
“I believe that Australians should have the choice to choose Australia’s head of state who’s primary allegiance is to our unique, diverse and multicultural people and place” – Dr Mike Freelander MP, @AnneWerriwa #auspol #WattleDay #AusRepublic
“Australia’s head of state should be a person that represents Australians above all other nations.” Mr Thistlethwaite said.
“Someone we can all be proud of and our kids, and their kids, can aspire to be one day.”