Australia

‘Very much matters’: Prime Minister Albanese weighs in on the Commonwealth going forward following Queen’s death English Headline


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said he believes the Commonwealth “very much matters” going forward.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has reignited calls for Australia to ditch the Constitutional Monarchy and become a republic.

After her death, King Charles became the head of state in the United Kingdom, as well as 13 other Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Albanese said the Commonwealth – which has 56 member countries – matters and it ties nations together through a “common history”.

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“I think the Commonwealth very much matters because what ties it together is a common history,” he said overnight.

“Now that varies across the Commonwealth of course, but in our own part of the world and in the Asia Pacific, there are 10 Commonwealth countries.

“A country like Papua New Guinea… they asked to join and they asked for Her Majesty to become the Queen of State when they achieved independence.

“And Prime Minister Marape, of course, will attend (the Queen’s funeral), and they have a very close relationship with Australia.”

Mr Albanese has held a series of meetings with other leaders from Commonwealth nations in recent days, after arriving in the United Kingdom for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

Shortly after touching down, Mr Albanese travelled to Kent to meet with the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

“We had a good discussion about the range of issues and about the relationship that we have between Australia and the UK,” he told ABC Melbourne on Monday.

“Of course, we’ve come to an economic and trade agreement that is due to go through our parliaments, we had a discussion as well about the potential visit by Prime Minister Truss to Australia.

“But we will gather on a more formal basis, of course, we’ll meet at the G20 in a short period of time.

“We had shared a platform as speakers during a forum at the NATO summit in Madrid just a couple of months ago.”

Mr Albanese also met with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, where the pair reflected on Her Majesty’s service to both Australia and Canada.

In a social media post, Mr Trudeau also said they discussed shared priorities such as addressing climate change and the energy crisis.

“We also spoke about the many priorities we share – which include taking ambitious climate action, growing our economies, and addressing the global food and energy crisis as we stand up for Ukraine,” he said.

“We’ll keep working together on these and other issues.”

Following Her Majesty’s death, Antigua and Barbuda became the first nation to announce it will hold a referendum to become a republic.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said a referendum will be called within three years, arguing the move is “not an act of hostility” towards the Monarchy.

Although a Republican, Mr Albanese has continuously rejected participating in the republic debate and has instead doubled down on prioritising indigenous constitutional recognition.

“I’ve made it clear before the last election, my priority and the priority of the government I lead would be recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our constitution,” Mr Albanese said on Monday.

“It is inconceivable to me that you would have a debate about an Australian head of state before you had recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our birth certificate.

“Our history didn’t begin in 1788, it goes back 65,000 years, that should be a source of national pride and should be recognised in our constitution.”



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