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Republic debate: Time to replace our Queen with an Aussie?

THE Republican Movement says Australia shouldn't wait for the Queen to die before installing its own head of state.

The comments come amid reports today that all but one of Australia's state premiers and chief ministers have signed a declaration calling for an Australian head of state.

Only WA Premier Colin Barnett did not sign the statement which says: "We, the undersigned premiers and chief ministers of Australia, believe that Australians should have an Australian as our head of state."

Peter FitzSimons from the Australian Republican Movement said the declaration was timed for tomorrow's Australia Day, along with an online petition signed by nearly 4,000 people, the ABC reported.

"All of Australia's political leaders now support an Australian head of state, including [Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull and [Opposition Leader] Bill Shorten.

"Never before have the stars of the Southern Cross been so aligned in pointing to the dawn of a new republican age for Australia."

Should there be an Australian as head of state?

This poll ended on 23 February 2016.

Current Results

Yes. The sooner the better


No. Not before the Queen dies


There are far more important issues


Referendum would be a waste of money


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr FitzSimons urged republicans not to hold off on pushing for constitutional change until after the Queen dies.

"Let's, while the Queen of England is young enough to come to Australia, not bow and curtsy but rise in a standing ovation and say, 'Thank you, your Majesty, for the sterling service you've given our nation'.

"She will give us the key, we'll take it for a spin around the block and we'll be on our way."

The Australian Monarchist League argues there is no widespread public support for replacing the monarchy.

Mr Shorten released a statement on Monday morning saying it was "time for Australia to become a republic".

He said those who were too young to vote in the 1999 referendum have now had children of their own, and those children will soon be eligible to vote.

"A new generation of Australians deserves their chance to have a say. The choice of when we become a Republic, should be our choice," he said.

"On Australia Day last year, I urged us to breathe new life into the dream of an Australian Republic.

"To have the confidence to declare to the world that we are running the place ourselves.

"Australia is smart and mature enough to have a debate about having an Australian head of state.

"While it's clearly not the most important issue facing Australia right now, we believe this is a debate we should be having.

"For the first Australia Day in our history, the leaders of both major parties are avowed republicans. 

"So today I say to the Prime Minister, let us work together to seize this moment, to lead the movement for change."

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