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Greens welcome royal visitors but reiterate call for republic

Media Release
Christine Milne 16 Apr 2014

The Australian Greens are joining the community in welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby Prince George of Cambridge to Australia, but say today is an occasion to consider why we wouldn't welcome them as friends from another country, rather than as future heads of state for Australia.

"I welcome Their Royal Highnesses and hope they enjoy their time in our great country, but in doing so, call on Australians to reflect on whether we wish to remain among the mere 15 of 53 countries in the British Commonwealth that still cling to the reigning British monarch as our head of state.

"There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth II has been an outstanding British monarch and head of the Commonwealth throughout her long reign, but it's past time for Australia to look to our own destiny.

"The outgoing Governor General, Dame Quentin Bryce, said in her Boyer Lecture that she hoped Australia might become a nation where, ‘one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation's first head of state,' and so do the Greens.

"It's time for Australia to cast off the colonial past and stand strongly and proudly with our own head of state in this Asian Century, recognising that the global focus has already moved away from Europe and colonial empires," said Senator Milne.

"We should never again have an Australian prime minister in such a small clutch of countries that we fit in a mini bus on the way to Westminster Abbey, as was former PM Gillard's experience at the last royal wedding."

53 Commonwealth countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Cyprus, Malta, United Kingdom, Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

15 Commonwealth countries without their own heads of state: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Granada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu.


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