Australia will not make any effort to become a republic until well after the Indigenous Voice to Parliament has been enshrined, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.
Mr Albanese himself has made his views about becoming a republic known in the past, but says now is “not the time” given the passing of Queen Elizabeth.
He’s also shut down any talk that major two constitutional changes could happen concurrently, given how “very difficult” getting such changes through is.
“The idea that you would have multiple debates at once I think is not feasible,” ”he told ABC Radio Sydney on Thursday morning.
Mr Albanese said he had made his priorities clear.
“I want Australians to concentrate on the Voice to Parliament,” he said.
“To me, it is inconceivable that the next change that we need for our constitution is anything other than recognising that our national birth certificate, which is what the Constitution represents, should acknowledge that history didn’t begin in 1788.
“We should be proud of the fact that we share this continent with the oldest continuous culture on earth … That should be something that needs to be fixed before other matters are debated.”
Mr Albanese has not ruled out holding a referendum on the republic should he receive a second term as Prime Minister.
“I’ve been asked a few times about the debate about the monarchy and those issues, this isn’t the time for that,” he told KIIS FM.
“This is the time to pay respect to Queen Elizabeth to give thanks for her extraordinary service.
“It’s not about our system of government. This is about respect for Queen Elizabeth and her contribution.”
Australia’s republic movement, spearheaded by Peter FitzSimons, has put a pause on campaigning during the official mourning period, but is likely to begin a renewed push for a constitutional change.
Mr Albanese will travel to London with the Governor-General, their partners, and 10 “everyday Australians” on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.
Joining the group on the flight will be Gai and Robbie Waterhouse, who received individual invitations from the palace due to the horse trainers’ long history with the royal family.
During his time in the United Kingdom, Mr Albanese will have a “one-on-one” audience with the new monarch, King Charles III.
He will also meet with new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau.