Australia’s prime minister has ruled out holding a referendum on the country becoming a republic any time soon, saying now is the time to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
Anthony Albanese said it was too early to tackle the “bigger questions about our constitution” and that now was instead a time to remember the late Queen and her devotion to Australia.
He himself is in favour of Australia ditching the monarchy, speaking two years ago of “the need for us to have an Australian head of state…the need for us to stand on our own two feet”.
The Australian Prime Minister has faced backlash from the business and healthcare sector following the announcement of a one-off bank holiday to mark a national day of mourning for the late Queen.
Anthony Albanese announced on Sunday that Australia would observe a bank holiday on September 22 following the monarch’s funeral on September 19.
The news quickly drew criticism from healthcare professionals who said the short notice would cause huge disruption to their sector where consultations and operations are arranged weeks, and sometimes months, in advance.
The Australian Medical Association president Steve Robson tweeted: “Operations and lots of patient consultations booked that day, at a time when access is difficult. Thanks for dropping this at short notice.”
Photo – The Sydney Opera House is illuminated with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II following her death, in Sydney, Australia. EPA-EFE/BIANCA DE MARCHI
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