Shorten has roy­als on no­tice

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

THE man favoured to be Aus­tralia’s next prime min­is­ter has reignited the re­pub­lic de­bate, say­ing the roy­als were “lovely peo­ple”, but he did not be­lieve they should be in charge of our coun­try.

Fresh on the heels of Harry and Meghan’s visit, Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten said Aus­tralians were “open to the case be­ing made” for a re­pub­lic. He com­mit­ted a fu­ture La­bor Govern­ment to a plebiscite which would pose the ques­tion – “Do you sup­port an Aus­tralian re­pub­lic with an Aus­tralian head of state?”

“They [roy­als] are lovely peo­ple. I met them [Harry and Meghan]. I liked them. I like Charles. I like lots of peo­ple from over­seas. I like the Pope. It doesn’t mean I want the Pope to be in charge [of Aus­tralia],’’ he said.

“230 years af­ter Euro­pean set­tle­ment of Aus­tralia, I think the rest of the world needs to see that Aus­tralians are com­fort­able in their own skin.

“Hav­ing an Aus­tralian head of state says to peo­ple in our re­gion and the rest of the world that there is a dis­tinct, Aus­tralian iden­tity.

“We no longer need to bor­row some­one else’s King or Queen. I think Aus­tralians are open to the case be­ing made,” Mr Shorten said.

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